Fluctuating Mojo – Training and Dating

It happens to us all but this week has been generally quite rubbish training wise and I’ve had my thinking cap on to try and figure out why my head hasn’t quite been in it.

  • General tiredness – last weekend I was on a coaching course – two long, busy days, followed by three long work days (including new assessments). Think it has just zapped me – coupled with probably not enough sleep.
  • Training on my own – I ran with my mate one night last week and it was SO good just to go for a steady run (run/walk as she gets back into it) and have company. I went out on the bike today and really felt it – not just lack of general cycling fitness but missing company. End of last year, mileage on my own didnt bother me. It did today.
  • Realising my own lack of fitness – I texted one of my mates this afternoon having a mini-moan, she reminded me about how ill I was in January and to be fair, she is probably right, its probably had a longer lasting effect than I realised as I came back to training, felt better and then had two or three quite heavy weeks considering time of the year and previous illness. It maybe genuine tiredness. She also told me I need to get training because I’ve some silly races coming up. She is right.
  • Diet – This week I know I haven’t eaten as much or as well as I should. Last few weeks I have made breakfast bars at home and had these – which have been great. This week I haven’t (made some today – see below). In conversation mentioned above with a mate, suggested lack of iron (and maybe protein). Monday through to Wednesday I really struggle to eat well and properly. I need to try and get better organised with food I think to make it easier to get decent food in me as well as drink enough.
  • Sleep routine – It’s rubbish and I spend too much time looking at screens late at night and not enough reading – too much going through my head too. I don’t give myself enough down time and try to fit too much in.

I also appear to have fluctuating dating mojo too. I’ve a third date lined up on Thursday – he’s lovely but (I hate buts) there is just something that is niggling me and I’m not entirely sure what it is. The lad I was dating July/August time – I wanted to see him, was willing to make time to see him etc etc – he also cycled. It was easy in that respect. Maybe it’s just I feel I am too busy – but I don’t feel I want to make the time – it is almost like a hindrance and this isn’t good! Surely if its right, I would feel I want to make time and wouldn’t feel it was a hindrance? He mentioned a date on Valentines (way too soon!) but I said I was running with a mate – I wasn’t but I did end up going climbing with another mate. Surely I shouldn’t be doing this?! As things are getting busier again with work and training – I just wonder if I am doing the right thing. Someone shared a clip of a film called A Boy, A Girl and a Bicycle on Twitter the other day. The guy in the bike shop (on the right, with the suit on) with the woman, who clearly races and is holding said blokes dog, says ‘They all look the same to me!’ – the look on the woman’s face, alongside the bike shop owners face, says it all. I want a bloke whose face is like that of the shop owner – haha!

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A Boy, A girl and a Bicycle – the guy with the flat cap – look of shock when someone says that bikes all look the same – I need that bloke in my life.

On a more positive note – one week until my first race of the year and one week to go until my holiday. I am also on a road trip tomorrow to Blackpool and I am very excited about this! Next week will be better.

She wouldn’t believe it!

This post has been flitting through my mind without even realising it until today. I’ve partly categorised this under ‘Matters of the heart’ because it is a subject that is close to my heart – education…

Random thoughts this morning while heading to the gym to swim included the thought that one day I would like to write a book. I’m not sure if I ever will but if I do it will probably be related in some way shape or form to triathlon. I say random thought but I think it was triggered after seeing that Sean Conway’s new book is available for pre-order. This then got me thinking about who I would dedicate it to – which links in with a random tweet from someone the other day about school PE and former PE teachers.

To put this into a bit more context. The tweet in question was something along the lines of how being a chubby (fat) child, people presume you would be bad at sports – yet there she was having running an ultra as an adult. I was a chubby child, more academic than sporty. Sorry. Academic and non-sporty. I was rubbish at sports and dreaded PE. I had this the other day with some lad over on POF when I announced my dislike of team sports, he presumed that it was because I was rubbish at sport – not an uncommon assumption. He carried on to say that it didn’t matter if I was the slowest etc – I could still train and play – or words to that effect. I clearly put him in his place (don’t get me wrong, I’m not the fastest but I’m definitely a competent swimmer and reasonable cyclist). I just don’t like team sports such as netball (or football etc).

So all these thoughts and things coming together – if I wrote a book that was sports related – I would dedicate it to Mrs Houlston – one of my PE teachers from secondary school.

As you’ve probably guessed, I really did despise the majority of PE in school. Most of all team sports. Netball topping the list. Being picked last is demoralising. I hated most of it. Although ironically, considering my love hate relationship with running, I never minded XC and I loved badminton (the only sport I ever played as extra curricula at school – we were just allowed to play, it was run by the male DT teacher and with hindsight was probably rather dodgy!). That’s about it. You may have already noted – these are usually solo events. Even now I hate team sports or anything like that – although relays are fine. I put it down to school mostly but when its a solo sport, you’ve only yourself to upset/let down really, anyway this is going off point a little.

Where does Mrs H come in in all of this? Why would I dedicate a book to her?

By the time I was in Y11, I was walking a lot more, being generally more active and I’d started to lose the puppy fat that had plagued me for as long as I remember. No-one ever said I was fat or anything like that but I wasn’t slim and my mum always just called it puppy fat. There was a complete transformation in my appearance – when I show people my Y7/9/11 school pics they don’t believe its the same person.

There is one PE lesson, or rather snippet at the end of a lesson, that really stuck in my head. It was summer, we were playing rounders. Yes I’d been picked last again but as I wasn’t carrying the weight any more suddenly I was managing to run and get half/full rounders. We were walking back to the changing rooms and Mrs Houlston was walking beside me and just happened to say something along the lines of how well I’d played or compliment me on how much faster I was/fitter I seemed. I told her about the walking, she seemed impressed. I don’t quite remember the words, but I remember the feeling. I’d had a compliment/praise from a PE teacher! I was secretly proud as punch – praise was less meaningful in other subjects as I was pretty good academically. The other thing to note about Mrs H, especially compared to my other PE teacher, Mrs P, Mrs H was always more understanding of us less sporty girls – encouraging yes but never berating us for thinking we weren’t putting the effort in or make us feel awful. It’s like she knew how much we despised it and tried to make it tolerable (she did know, I’m sure of it!). Mrs P always seemed full of over-enthusiasm and had obvious favourites – the sporty ones. We always copped it.

That feeling that I got from the quiet praise and the fact she had noticed, means that Mrs H will always be a bit of a hero when I look back. Its been the comment thats stuck with me more than anything at school. It’s probably inspired me more than I realise too as I often wonder what she would make of what I get up to now! I’d like to think that she would be a little bit proud. She will have no idea just how much of a lasting impression her words have had and I would love to just bump into her one day and tell her. My inner teacher is reminded that teachers hold more sway than they realise sometimes and sometimes its the littlest things than make the biggest impact.

So if and when I do write that book… I will dedicate it to Mrs Houlston, with a massive thank you for recognising that I maybe wasn’t quite as rubbish as I thought and for just making my last term of school PE ok.

 

(I’m starting a triathlon coaching course this weekend. I don’t think she’d believe it!)

 

Mirror Mirror

‘Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.’ Winston Churchill

Wise words from Churchill himself.

I have actually done some reflecting, not quite intentionally, as a result of a random dream and random recent events that I won’t go into too much detail about. This year has been one of many ups and downs.

Well, I say many ups and downs, it started up, then went down majorly, then improved – more than I thought it would. In all honesty, I am in a far better place than I thought I would be and I am really excited about 2019 (my credit card isn’t so happy). I genuinely cant believe I’m sat here, six months post break up, in such a better place.

It is the first time I have been single for twelve years. Written down, that looks more tragic than I feel it is. I am starting to enjoy being single and as cliche as it sounds, finding out what makes me tick and makes me me again. A friend said to me the other day that she thought it was a good thing that I was still single and finding my feet. Clearly my ex wasn’t actually good enough for me (or good enough for any woman? or just not right for me? Not sure). I’m at the point where his new girlfriend is most welcome to him as when I sat and thought about it, I think I was too laid back and actually, I’ve realised quite a few things that again, for various reasons, were just not normal/right in a relationship that lasted that long. I suppose after the former boyfriend, things seemed more normal. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and I do believe things happen and people come into your life (and out) for a reason – even if it isn’t clear at the time. The fog and confusion of a major break up is just about clear (some things still hurt occasionally but for the most part, the voodoo doll is away).

Anyway, on a more positive note…

As daft as it sounds, I feel like I’m reverting back to the teenage me, or rather, the 17 year old me – and I quite like her! Although I hope I am somewhat wiser than the 17 year old me. The flirting, having fun, no commitment, no considering other people’s plans – another mate asked me how I seem to be attracting blokes, but in all honesty, I like blokes, and even though the last one eventually showed his true colours, I know not all men are the same. In the same breath, I am also more aware that not all men are knights in shinning armour/have honest intentions – but so long as the intentions are clear – I am rather enjoying being single.

I am really looking forward to 2019 – I’ve so many things I want to do and develop – I’ve a new business that I want to build up and expand on, exciting races planned, training penciled in, a holiday booked and so many other things I want to do – I feel the world is at my feet. It’s just up to me to embrace it and see what happens.

So while I have been reflective – I am also rejoicing – the love of family and friends has got me through so much and I am eternally grateful for that. I am rejoicing that I am stronger than I thought and emotionally in such a better place.

2018/19, I think, may prove to be the making of me.

 

I am just a little bit excited!

Dating, Dinner and Dullness

‘Dating has taught me what I want and don’t want, who I am, and who I want to be.’ Jennifer Love Hewitt

I was going to blog about my recent adventures to Wales (with a boy) but decided that a broader post about my recent discoveries on dating would help me get some things off my chest – especially after having being present at the recent AGM with the ex – after not seeing him in four months (definitely wasn’t me feeling it that night!)

I joined Plenty of Fish (POV) a few months ago. I knew I probably wasn’t quite ready to date as such but really needed an ego boost. I’m not afraid to say that – I was feeling a bit sorry for myself at the time. Like most people’s experience – it’s been interesting to say the least (both good and bad). And as for it being an ego boost, it has done its job! Dating apps are what you make of them.

I’m going to start with the most positive experience before general observations about what I have learnt so far in terms of dating in general – rather than POF.

Best experience – randomly favourited a profile on POF with no idea what I doing. This lead to an ongoing conversation and ended up with me dating  a cyclist for 3 months or so but this has recently fizzled out (I need to go liberate my PJs from his really). This has been the best experience – for more than one reason. Pretty decent lad, even if he could be annoying – no hard feelings on my part for it not working out. Brilliant cycling partner – and for that, and the fact he made me push myself on the bike I shall be forever grateful for. Good overall egg – just not the one for me.

So I have had some dates as a result of POV. The best experience I’ve already mentioned. However, its also lead to awkward dates and helped me realise a few things. The quote at the top of the page is starting to sum up my observations. I am discovering more about what I don’t want and probably finding out more about myself.

The guys in question – nothing really wrong with them at all. They have just mostly been quite dull – that sounds mean and I can imagine talking to girls is quite hard so I am probably being harsh. But in some cases, it’s like trying to get water from a stone.

Observations though….

  • Do you need to be asking what I’m doing five million times a day?
  • When my days are full and busy – what are you doing with your day? I seem to attract blokes who don’t do much. Or maybe I’m just too busy?
  • Why is it always down to me to decide and be proactive on details of a date? Three dates all in a row with one guy have all been my suggestions. Every single one. That is ranty but really? This is one of the redeeming features of the three month guy – he suggested climbing and doing things. I am the proud owner of a pair of climbing shoes and have discovered I rather like bouldering!

This last point is bugging me the most at the moment.

What do I actually want then?

I’m a different person since my ex left me – and for the better I think. My friends have all noticed a difference. I am learning what it is I want in life I suppose and this is filtering through in what I value in a potential partner too. Preferably someone who is active in terms of at least cycling or running, someone who has things to say – interested in the world. Someone who doesn’t need mothering and rinses the bath out (and keeps at least the kitchen clean). Someone who asks how my day is going and is genuinely interested/remembers what is going on in my life but also wants to share what is going on with them, however random. I think I’m just finding dating more exhausting that actually being in a relationship (read comfort zone I suppose).

After speaking to some mates in the last week or so, I am debating giving up on the dating front for a bit. Partly due to being a bit fed up with dullness but also due to time. I must be the most infuriating person to date because I am so busy and I don’t think the next eight or nine months will be any better!

Late night musings of the heart.

‘Remember that sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.’ – Dalai Lama

This is very much a late night musing as I’m wide awake and overthinking. I’ve lost count of how many weeks it is since he left me for another woman and despite there still being some pain and rawness – for the most part it’s gone. I’m not quite at the ‘not caring’ stage as such but I don’t think that’s far off – I’m not avoiding him as much as he’s avoiding me! However, some realisations have been made and it’s been interesting. Helped by putting the world to rights. I feel the urge to list them. Are you sitting comfortably?

Here goes….Not particularly in order….

Realisations about ‘us’/him/our relationship:

  • As soon as a relationship requires commitment or work – he bolts. Turns out it’s a (very) reoccurring pattern. So why did we last so long you ask? I’m too laid back.
  • He’ll do the same to her. I await karma striking. When it does, I’ll probably be past caring, but it will.
  • On the same theme, he will grow into a lonely, old man. I did tell him this. He agreed.
  • He’ll never admit it, but I think one day he’ll regret what he’s done. Maybe not now – but one day. See above.
  • Both of them and their mates know what they’ve done isn’t on – trying to blend in and clearly feeling awkward. It’s obvious they all knew something was going on before I did. Genuinely don’t believe that they didn’t act/do anything before he left me.
  • He’s a complete coward (putting it mildly) and a poor example to good men out there despite appearances. Who knew eh?
  • Apparently eight years isn’t worth fighting for. It is apparently acceptable to just bury your head in the sand and hope problems will magically go away.
  • I put more effort in than him.
  • He put me in situations where clearly he aimed to spend time with her while appearing to spend time with me.
  • Turns out I was the supportive one. More on this below.
  • This list could go on but it would get very bitchy and sweary. So I shall leave it at that.

Realisations about my mates and myself.

  • I was too bloody nice! This harks back to last point above. I can’t think of one race that I did because I wanted to, that he didn’t, that he came and supported me at. I either did same races as him or he did same race as me. There’s been things I’ve really wanted to do (SUP) that he’s had no interest in and he hasn’t supported me in (although I’ll admit he was quite supportive while I did my PGCE – the levels of support given to him between career change and triathlon make his support seriously pale in comparison!). I also did 95% of the running in our relationship too and when I was stressing every week about kit I needed – absolutely no understanding whatsoever about how this was starting to affect me.
  • I have THE greatest friends in the world. Honestly. There’s a core bunch of about 7 or 8 people that, without them, I’d be in a far worse place. They have listened and supported without moaning – at least to me – about it. Been sympathetic, got me out doing stuff and generally been all round awesome. Some of this has also come from unexpected places as well – so beyond that core 7/8 people there has been some wider support from club mates/Twitter and beyond that has surprised me and helped me. Checking in on me and making sure to nag me to eat/stay positive/tell me exactly what I’ve needed to hear. I am eternally grateful.
  • I’ve pretty much put the voodoo doll away (this relates to a conversation at a TT a few weeks ago – ‘You’re going to have to put that voodoo doll away eventually’ after a long moan about what o should have done.
  • Staying on the theme of friends. They really are the family you choose for yourself. Surrounding yourself with good people is a great healer.
  • I am made of stronger stuff than I realise. Coming out of the pit of despair that was the break up – a friend mentioned this week about how strong I’ve been dealing with things and rising above things. My world was shattered to the core and it’s foundations when he left me. I’ve had no choice but to rebuild it. No point in hanging around. There maybe odd tweaks on the way but life is for living.
  • My self esteem/confidence isn’t too bad but even I need an ego boost occasionally. Turns out I am actually desirable and not at all past it. Not that I ever thought I was past it but I was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with me!
  • Being single for the first time as a fully fledged adult is interesting and actually fun – I’ve not had time to sit and dwell too much – I’m too busy doing so much random stuff – and things I want to do! I don’t have to hang around waiting for anyone, I can go meet new people, I don’t have to consider anyone else.
  • Which leads on to – any future relationship – I need to remember to be my own person and do what makes me happy more. Life is too short to be a sheep that merely follows. I did too much of that.
  • I can, in fact, look after my bikes myself and sort out stuff. And be organised. Far more self reliant.
  • I’ve less patience for nonsense.
  • Did I mention I have the best mates ever?
  • I am braver than I realise too. I’ve big plans and they are scary. With little to lose – why not?
  • There are still plenty of single blokes out there. That’s been an interesting wake up call! I’m seeing life/dating in a whole different light and I’ve a better sense of self and just what I don’t want. Probably more so than what I do want actually.
  • I’ve spent more time with my cousins – this is quite a big deal actually as there’s a group that are close and I always wanted to be in their crowd – they’ve always looked out for me but it’s really come into its own recently. Definitely feel much closer – and at the end of the day, family and friends – ultimately relationships are are what matter and the love that goes with it.
  • Love heals.
  • My heart will recover. My heart is recovering.

Yes I wanted to marry him and yes I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. There were a lot of things I thought I wanted. I can’t really regret anything. I’ve gained/learnt/done more than I could have imagined over last 8 years. But it’s beginning to look like I’ve had a lucky escape – everything happens for a reason and it may just turn out to be the greatest stroke of luck it happening now!

It’s all coming together nicely!

“It never gets easier, you just get faster” – Greg LeMond

I meant to write earlier in the week but the last two weeks have been surprisingly hectic and random.

Although firstly, a mini update on how things have gone in terms of ‘the ex’ and her. I was recently at one of the local triathlons (for various reasons) and in transition. I didnt see him – although knew he was about, but she was racing. I knew she would be. First time all year she hasn’t raced in club colours and was clearly trying very hard to blend in. I’ve never seen anyone in and out of transition as quick! She ran past me as she headed out so I decided to just cheer her on. By name. She looked rather uncomfortable. To be far, both of them should be feeling uncomfortable and awkward, but its not me making it so. My own feelings on the whole thing were enlightening – I have most certainly turned a corner, knowing full well karma will one day strike.

That’s actually the least exciting thing thats happened really.

There has been quite a lot of cycling training wise and little of anything else.

So awesome things that have happened….

  • Last TT of the season – genuinely gutted and really wish I’d started earlier in the season. Two minute improvement on the course from a few weeks previous. 1st (and only!) woman racing too. It has had an awesome impact on my cycling too.
  • Needed an ego boost. Got it. Found a new cycling partner out of it. Although he is predominately a mountain biker, he put me through my paces the other weekend.
  • Awesome club ride today actually – and not only that, I cycled into town solo, did the group ride and then had lunch with a friend before cycling home solo, making a 30 mile club ride in to a 70 mile ride, with 2s knocked of my own QOM  (Queen of the Mountain). 30 group miles, and 40 solo miles!
  • A fab run or two with my friends – putting the world to rights (As always) and discussing plans for next years racing.
  • A really successful shadow official assignment.
  • Booking a holiday to go and support friends doing the ETU championships in Ibiza – very excited!
  • Booked YHA for the club trip (only 5 of us going but, still – will be awesome!)
  • Tried on my friends speed suit – seriously – how is a woman supposed to get that over her hips? Must have been designed by someone with no hips or waist?!
  • Spend the last two nights in a hot tub. Enough said.
  • Some fab conversations with friends both online and in real life.

There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel and its heading up fast!

Getting things off my chest and moving forward.

“One day they’ll realize they lost a diamond while playing with worthless stones.” – Turcois Ominek

Today has felt a bit like a turning point in some respects. I emailed him about sorting out holiday (again) and got a reply saying he was going to sort it this week. Hopefully I won’t have to chase it. I also made a point of telling him a few of the club things that I will and won’t be doing – and in my final reply to his email, I got off my chest a few feelings and observation. It took me a while to write the said email. It had to be right, and I felt that it was probably best to do that then for it all to come out in some spiteful way in public and not get across what I was trying to say.

I found the quote above the other day, I don’t think he will ever come back and admit he screwed up in any way. I think his pride will get in the way, or maybe this other woman is better than me, but if he isn’t worthy of me, is he worthy of any female? I used to think she was a good sort – think events have screwed that perception a little and I am at the point where I  do hope it all blows up in their faces.

I’d love to say I’ve stopped caring but this would be a lie. I also know that I will have some more bad days before I’m over it. There maybe a few more blog posts along those lines but…. I am, however, making future plans. I have spoken to my friends about it, given things quite a lot of thought and started trying to work out how I can make all these things a reality. If it comes off, there will be little time for a bloke, but plenty of time to do some pretty awesome things and quite honestly, I am starting to feel quite excited. I am in a great position to actually take some risks and look forward.

How many people can say that?