Dunking’s and distractions

Dealing with the weekend that was IMUK was never going to be easy.

“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead.” – Barney Stinson

I knew this weekend was going to be ridiculously tough at times. IMUK 2018 has been today and I should have been there with him, supporting him again. I even woke up at 3am – roughly when his alarm was probably going off. I dozed off again and woke up again as he will have been down at Pennington Flash getting ready. After years of support, and knowing from last year, how amazing it is to be supporting the people you love and care about it, it was hard not being there, and harder knowing that the woman he has left me for (and coincidently – NOT spent the last four years supporting his triathlon ambitions) would be there instead. Especially as he would rather her there than me. Knowing it would be hard, I decided I was going to keep busy.

So what did I have planned?

Well, not long after breaking up with me, I spoke to my cousins and roped them into some stand up paddle boarding (SUP) over near Richmond and yesterday was the day. Set off from home, all together, bags packed and headed off (with a stop off at Costa, obviously). We were late, but such is life. I’ve wanted to have a proper stab at SUP for a while and it was great to actually have someone show us how to use the boards and paddles properly – there is far more to it – some moves are tricky! All of us fell in, and once you fall, then you actually become more confident as its not the end of the world! We ended up playing SUP Polo and going out on a huge paddle board with six of us on it.

After getting showered and changed, we all heading back to Northallerton to the pub. Hungry and ready for a rest. It was so nice to be sat, having a proper chin wag with my cousins and putting the world to rights. I definitely felt a bit happier for a while and managed some proper belly laughs.

Got home and managed to head to the cinema with the sister to see Ocean’s 8. Although in the car on the way across, I was nearly in tears with it all. It just all hit me in the face again. Still a sore subject at heart. Still as sharp a stab.

By time it got to this morning, I was glad I was meeting up with a friend to go swimming and have a catch up – along with breakfast with her, her t’other half and gorgeous babies! Discussing next years races and plans – including a potential business development too (think I am quite excited by it) and again, putting the world to rights and just voicing my feelings helped me get through this morning, despite clock watching (managed to avoid most Facebook/Twitter mentions of IMUK). It was good just to get it off my chest.

Spent the rest of the day in town too. Went to get a new tyre of the back wheel of the Spesh and I said yes to meeting someone who I sort of know but not well and met him for a drink, again putting world to rights (recently split up with girlfriend). Before heading home.

I’ve also had quite a few people text me, knowing that I’ll be feeling it today and I’ve really appreciated it. It has been tougher tonight I think, and I’ve managed not to look for results. I know that they have been up on Facebook and I’ve no doubt that they have all done well but knowing what I know, and how I feel, it has still being hard not being there when I was looking forward to it. When you support someone for so long, not being there on the day is just painful in all honesty.

Considering I’ve had a good weekend, I feel a bit weepy and down at the moment – because I know what will be going on over in Bolton. I’m sure things will come good eventually and I suppose it’s another hurdle surmounted. In the meantime, I have the next week off work at one job so bit more time to myself, and I’m filling it with things I want to do.

Think I need to book some more races…..

Second Shock and Recovery

I have not broken your heart…you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. – Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

It’s been a mixed few days. Monday was a horrible day, the shock of Sunday was still raw, I hadn’t eaten at all in days (well, not properly) and I nearly passed out at work. Tuesday was a far better day, although that could be because it started with a good, decent swim. Swim does that to me. Today, Wednesday, has been reasonably ok – I’ve even had my regular customers as well as friends checking up on me, making sure I’m eating. So that’s a current round up of where I am physically. I am gradually managing to eat a bit more, and keep it in too – I am managing some training too. Emotions have been a roller coaster though but to relate it to sort – recovery seems to be kicking in – but I would like to feel happy again. Soon preferably.

I’ve tried not to over think or dwell too much on events. I was a state on Monday, finding out he had lied and that there was another woman involved, worse that it was who I expected. This brings us to the quote above. I didn’t break his heart – he head was turned, it was him who didn’t try to prevent his feelings or work on his feelings for me – relationships do take work, and clearly with him, loyalty, trust and faith in what we had being real, wasn’t enough, but in doing this, his heart ‘breaking’, not loving me enough, he has completely broken mine. The pain is still raw and I have never felt pain like it.

My feelings have shifted to anger in one respect. Part of me hopes that he will live to regret what he has done but I suspect he won’t. The shock is wearing off now – I need to start trying to look forward. Speaking to friends, and the support they have given, has been amazing. I could sit here all day and write about how angry I feel at the moment with everything and how much I hurt – and I was going to. Especially yesterday, but today, has been better, I’m also annoyed that I have tried emailing him to sort out the booked holiday and got nothing back. The sooner we get things sorted the sooner I can cut ties.

Today I have eaten, I have started thinking about future races and plans. I have been to the gym, bumped into a friend there and got a S&C plan in place. I’m going to sit down at the weekend and figure out what to do next – or at least gather some ideas. Whether that’s teaching abroad, taking on a tutoring business, travelling or something completely different. I am trying hard to keep busy and think about the future and all the things I could do that maybe I couldn’t before. I need something to focus on and joining the gym is the start of that.

Looking forward, far enough to the weekend at least, I’ve some good plans – off SUP-ing with my cousins on Saturday (my core is going to hurt on Sunday) and catching up with a friend and race planning for next year on Sunday. I’m off work next week too,  The world is my oyster I suppose – and who knows what might happen? Hopefully my next posts will be more training focused rather than moping, feeling sorry for myself!

But sport may just prove to be my saving grace.

Tears, training and time trails.

A mixed week of tears and training, and a pretty hard Time Trail.

When you lose someone, you get used to living day to day without them. But you’ll never get used to the “10 second heartbreak.” That’s the time it takes to wake to full consciousness each day and remember. – Nina Guilbeau

The depressing, sad bits first – the stuff I need to get off my chest…. tears…..

So yesterday marked two weeks since he left me. Shock wore off last week. I suppose I am going through the phases of grief and dipping in and out of the different stages. I seem to be able to wake up and know whether it’s going to be a better day or whether it will be a bad day, even on day’s where I am trying desperately to keep busy. Sleep is oblivion – then waking up and breaking old habits is hard. He was the first person I’d text or want to talk to on a morning and thats gone. I’ve got to the stage where I am just missing him so much.

I have been on the brink of tears on and off all week. Managed to hold off until driving home from a TT on Thursday. Then the flood gates opened. The pain is still very much there, and still very much raw. I think the emotion of struggling more than I thought I would on the TT didn’t really help matters either even with good support. The same day, I’d been out for lunch with a friend, and she’s the only one who has asked me if I would consider getting back with him if he asked. In truth, I hadn’t given it much thought. I had hoped that it was something that would pass and we’d sort out but in reality, I don’t think there is any chance of that, so I hadn’t given it much consideration. It hurts that he is just throwing eight years away – his words were ‘its too late’ – well that is because he never said anything sooner, and he clearly doesn’t think we have anything worth fighting for. But there are conversations that still need to be had, and tomorrow I shall be off to see him. It won’t be pleasant, and it won’t be easy, but needs must for both of us. I am genuinely very worried about IMUK next weekend.

On a slightly more positive note – training and Time Trials…

Despite this, some good things have happened. Eating is still proving an issue – not keeping anything in much and appetite is still dire. I am now on 9lbs lost and under 10 stone for the first time in I don’t know how long. This is more of an issue as I’ve been possibly more active this week in an attempt to keep busy.

Yoga on Monday as normal – all good – although hot and sweaty. I swam Tuesday morning (1400m early doors wasn’t bad going considering I only had just over half an hour). Wednesday I ran, with friends, and ended up getting an invite to go up in a plane! Thursday I cycled in from my friends to the bike shop in town to finally get the Ridley fitted (not too many alterations actually) before cycling back for lunch. Lunch then work, then I was persuaded into doing one of the local hilly TTs.

I say it was a hilly TT, but it is more rolling hills and undulating. A bit lumpy. I was zapped of energy. You really feel the whole struggling to eat when you want to race! I managed it – 13 miles – in 46 min 12s (in my head I thought it was 10 miles, more fool me!). Slowest out of everyone but ah well. Friday – I managed my longest swim since way back last year – 2800m. A proper full swim set! Stomach was seriously empty by end of it and growling at me. Think this swim has been one of the highlights of the week to be honest. Just needed to bash it out without thinking too much.

The other biggish thing, going forward into my new found singledom, is my decision to try joining a gym again. This time, one with two pools and plenty of classes. I’ll admit it has cost me a small fortune and with a few other bits and pieces, and MOT/Car insurance bills due in the next two months, i need to rein in the spending but I think it will be worth it and help give me something to focus on in the next two months. It’s also same gym my friends have joined which means I can go with them too rather than swim on my own. Added advantage of the gym I’ve joined is that I can use my fins and paddles. There are NO WORDS for how excited this makes me! I’ve also started thinking about, and discussing with friends, races for next year. The calendar has been out and things are getting pencilled in as possibilities.

My head knows things will get better eventually. My heart is taking its own sweet time to catch up.

Recovery

The start of the healing process after the shock wears off. Grief, tears and misery.

I know that’s what people say—you’ll get over it. I’d say it, too. But I know it’s not true. Oh, you’ll be happy again, never fear. But you won’t forget. Every time you fall in love it will be because something in the man reminds you of him. – Betty Smith

Normally, when I, or my friends, talk about recovery, its about rest or about a lighter training session, less intensive, to help the body recover from what stupid physical thing you’ve tried to do. This time, its recovery of a different type.

Today, or maybe even over the weekend, the shock has worn off a bit. I thought I was coping ok, but knowing that sooner or later, the second wave of pain and grief would hit. If I’m busy or my mind is occupied (yoga tonight proving perfect example – a whole hour NOT thinking about him!), I’m relatively alright. Today though, has been tough. Shock has, like I said, worn off and I am left feeling empty and like bawling my eyes out. One of the girls at work reminded me that it’s fine to cry and that if I need to bawl then I should. Our staff toilet has been renamed the ‘consulting room’ many times before for such reasons. I managed to keep the tears at bay. I am being brutally honest when people ask me how I am. Talking is therapy right?

I am at the point of really missing him. The morning text, the nanite text, the stupid little life observation text, the hugs, the feeling of being at one with the world knowing someone has your back, the love, the cheek, the future plans. Recalling and comparing notes. All of it. Missing it and him. Knowing it won’t be the same again. The wondering what he’s doing. Everything going through my mind in no real order.

All this while also wishing he was hurting as much, when in reality, he’s probably feeling a hell of a lot better! Anger and upset rolled into one.

It’s all very raw. And I’m trying desperately to keep myself busy, plan things for myself and figure out what it is I am actually going to do, while wondering if I am actually capable of achieving some of these things.

The quote at the top of this blog – I know I will feel happy again at some point, I’m sure of it, I’ve seen it with friends who have gone through it and come out the other side. This recovery is hard. Harder than physical recovery from a race or a training session. I don’t think I will ever properly ‘get over it’. It isn’t my first broken heart of sorts. The last left scars. And yes there are similarities. But life goes on and there will be light at the end of the tunnel, but today, I can’t see it and today I want to cry.

Finding headspace

Heading up North to prove you can travel on your own and be ok, despite a broken heart and an old car!

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.
– Anonymous

The weekend following the conversation and splitting up with the ex was hard, and this week was made that bit harder as I was supposed to be racing this weekend with him at a 24 hour endurance race that promised to be a lot of fun. I just couldn’t face doing it, especially as my emotions, I’ll admit, are still fluctuating between anger and grief. So it seemed like a sensible idea to do something completely different.

So I booked a night away at a B&B in my favourite part of the world – Northumberland. I muted references to the race and certain people I follow on Facebook, deleted the Strava app off my phone and after having late breakfast/early lunch with one of my friends, drove the 2 and a half hours North to Wooler.

I had a fantastic drive. I’d updated some of the CDs in my car to something more upbeat than normal (apparently, my normal taste in music is depressive). The traffic was good and for the first time in well over a week, I felt genuinely quite cheery. I used to love driving, but over the last few years, I didn’t do much of the longer distance stuff and left it to him. I decided to stop worrying about the car – if it broke down, I was in the AA and I had my credit card with me. Turns out car was brilliant and probably just needed a good long drive itself – my old tank of a Volvo was definitely made for cruising!

I arrived about 5ish, stayed long enough at the B&B to dump my bags and freshen up a bit before heading off to Salt Water Cafe in Beadnell for my tea. I’d planned on doing my favourite things while I was here in an attempt to cheer myself up and claim them as my own, making new memories and all that jazz. Tea was lovely but, being on a heartbreak diet and having no appetite, meant I just couldn’t finish it. I wandered down to the harbour – it was too nice an evening not to, before heading off to Alnwick for a twilight swim. Keeping myself busy so far was working.

img_8588Saturday was a bit of a different matter. Managed to push down some breakfast and had a lovely chat with a couple who were cycling. Checked out and headed over to Alnwick to mooch around the beautiful Alnwick Garden. Despite being busy, I managed to find a quiet place of solitude on a hanging swing, so sat, wrote in my diary and read a little. Hunger pangs started and I went into town in search of food, managed to eat and then headed to Barter Books. So far, travelling and holidaying solo going ok – a few moments of wanting to have a weep nearly creeping in.

The afternoon was the hardest, having head space is all well and good (and being all that way from home, on my own, proving to myself I could go it alone so to speak, was a good thing) but you can be alone with your thoughts and feelings too long, and the walk up to Dunstanburgh Castle proved to be quite hard. Last time I did it, the ex and I ran it. It’s one of my favourite castles too. All this lead to was a complete mash of emotions and probably proved hardest part of the day. I walked to the top of one of the towers – and could feel light-headness kicking in. This is unusual and I’m not sure how much of this to contribute to not eating enough verses emotional feelings. For the first time in a while, I was glad to be back in the car and heading back towards Beadnell. I was determined to get some form of run in, having taken my kit to run as well as the fact I had backed out of a race I’d been looking forward too (I have since debated whether I should have just gone and done it to make him feel awkward – though I might have felt awkward too and it wouldn’t have been fair on everyone else in the team).

Running is hard. Really hard. Especially when I’ve barely run in a month. But run I did. Only 4.5km around the village and along part of the beach. But I think it helped. I switched off a bit as I was more bothered about how hard this running was! Sport and exercise are definitely good therapy. By the time I’ got back to my starting point, I felt somewhat better and went to paddle in the sea before consuming ice cream. Deciding it was time to head home, I rung home to tell them when to expect me.

The drive home was different again to the drive up. On the way up, I had stopped at a friends for lunch, stopped at the services for a drink and obligatory loo stop and then headed up, sun shinning, music blasting, determined to enjoy it. The drive home was different. It was an easy drive (I think football was on), there was little traffic and no really hold ups apart from the odd average 50mph zone. It was nearly a straight drive back at 70mph cruising. So much for the easy bit. Concentrating on driving meant little time for thinking about feelings, especially with music playing, but I made the mistake of driving right down to the A1/A64 turn off, past the turn off for the race I should have done, and bang! Emotion overload. Coupled with the fact that my sunburn was kicking in, I was actually glad to be home. I’d been away, on my own, mostly enjoyed it, and more importantly, survived without tears.

The biggest revelation? Not having to consult others or wait for anyone while travelling is quite liberating if you don’t mind your own company. I think it is going to take me a while to just readjust to not having to consider others wants and feelings quite as much.

And try as I might, I still missed him and I still had the same questions spinning around my head but for a while at least, everything was ok. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel, and my head knows things happen for a reason. In the mean time, I am still going to continue nursing a broken heart.