Friday, April 5, 2013

Coming back. Or at least trying.

It's not quite time to call victory...but, I did manage to do something this morning.

The data there is meaningful to precisely nobody besides me, but the point is that I did the entire workout as written, and didn't feel like crap. I even managed to do it after doing a real, live swim workout, albeit a short one, last night.

That's a change from the rest of this week. If it wasn't apparent in my last post, I was NOT feeling good earlier this week. I skipped workouts, even stayed home from work one day because I couldn't lift my head at 7 am. And I slept, napped, and just sat around more than any person should over the course of a year, much less three days. 

I'm still not all fixed up. Even I'm not dumb enough to think that. But, at least at the moment, I'm somewhere near that balance of maintaining some semi-respectable level of fitness while resting enough to avoid falling into a big pit of exhaustion all over again. Lest you think that's easy, I spent all of last night's swim checking in on my fatigue level, and the last 20 minutes of today's ride on the trainer questioning the wisdom of continuing. It actually really sucks, because one of the reasons I've done alright in the endurance world is that I have the capacity to push past the point where most would give up. The problem is that, right now, exercising that capacity could do me in even further. 

In a way, I have to battle the urge to fight the battle.

That totally made sense. Not.

In the meantime, here's some other stuff I'm doing to get myself back in order:
  • I'm meeting with new doctors recommended by my coach, who, if I haven't mentioned it, is worth every penny, and probably still would be if she quadrupled her rates. I don't know if they'll have any answers to meaningful questions like "How did I gain weight training for an Ironman even though I went to bed hungry most nights?" or "Can you help me stand up without almost falling over?" or "Why do I suddenly have the body temperature of a lizard?" or "If my body is so messed up, how did I run a 3:47 marathon six weeks ago?" but I can at least ask. 
  • I told the board of directors for the team I coach that I can't coach at all this month. Lest you chastise me for abandoning them, I took the coaching job TEMPORARILY in 2006 because their old head coach ran off with all their money and didn't return phone calls, AND I told them in October 2011 that I couldn't do this anymore. They're being understanding and filling in the gaps with other coaches so that I don't pass out at practice like I almost did a few times in March. This clears up a massive amount of time, which can be used to nap or de-stress. That said, I'm still going to Junior Nationals with two swimmers next week, because I promised them I would.
  • I'm going back to no added sugar or sweetener, outside training sessions longer than 90 minutes. My Easter candy bender last weekend may have fueled an intense brick workout, but it made me feel miserable come Monday. Oh, and it caused a 7 pound weight gain in a week. Sure, a lot of that was water due to inflammation from the massive sugar dump, but, um, extra inflammation is bad, too. Having gone back to, like, vegetables and lean protein seems to have led to feeling much less miserable, even if it isn't as much fun as eating M&Ms for dinner.
  • My race schedule is open to a lot of changes. As much as I'd hate to walk away from all the entry fees I've spent money on, I do this for fun, and going into a race I'm unable to train for is not fun. 

Now if you'll excuse me, there's a pillow with my name on it. I think it's naptime again.


  1. Three cheers for progress! Hopefully the doctors will be able to give you some answers. As endurance athletes, we're used to challenging limits and pushing as hard as we can; it says a lot about your maturity as an athlete that you're willing to take a step back and listen to your body. This move will pay off in the long run!

  2. Good steps!! I hope this brings you around and fast. Happy napping!

  3. Initial corrective steps look great! You are seeking better medical treatment, taking control of your life, and acknowledging that you can't always put the accelerator all the way down. Best of luck on all these changes.

  4. Yep. Looks like you're finding out some answers. The sugar dump always seems to mess me up as well. Weird how you get used to a new 'normal' of not putting crap in your body. Then when you do, all hell breaks loose. And it takes a week to get back on track when it was only a one night stand with a bunny (or bag of bunnies). Guess learning is a part of the process here. Thanks for posting this. :)

  5. I like to hear that you are hopefully slowly mending up. These all look great and I think it's a good step for you to take to take some time for yourself away from coaching. Though I'm sure it's difficult to walk away right now, you need some you time and you deserve that.

    I'm still open for you to swim the 2 mile swim this year...