Losing focus, running out of steam

I’ve been, again, my usual procrastinating self. “I have plenty of time, the race is only in x weeks! I can take a couple of days/weeks off surely, I’ve worked pretty hard so far, I deserve a bit of a break, right?”

Ugh.

Will I ever learn?

I did the same thing last year, thinking I could complete a triathlon with just a couple of visits to the pool. “There’s still time!” And then the pool changes their opening hours during the summer (or closes altogether), and then you can’t fit it in your schedule… and we all saw how I made a complete sinking fool of myself on race day.

This Sunday, I should have been running my first half-marathon. But it won’t happen. I took a little bit of a break about 5-6 weeks ago, but I’ve never been able to get back into the rhythm. Plagued by headaches, runner’s trots, dehydration, muscle cramps. Laziness. Frustration. I can’t seem to be able to get passed 12km running nowadays, while back in March, I was able to complete a long run beyond 15km the day after riding my bike for 70km with strong head winds. I’ve had my blood checked, everything is A-OK. So there are no other possible explanations for my legs cramps, except poor posture, poor mechanics and basically, my body saying no.

I can’t help but feeling angry at myself for falling off the wagon again. For losing focus, for erasing all the progress and efforts of the first months of this year with this stupid break.

In a way, I know I needed this break. I was beginning to drag myself to my training sessions, not enjoying them for one bit. Because I had to train. It had become a chore, a job, not something I getting any pleasure from. But now I see my goals approaching, and there’s no way out of this: I have to let them go, accept failure, regroup and find new goals. And work hard to achieve them.

So I will run on Sunday, but not the 21,1km I was dreaming of. It sucks, because this race was in my hometown, but it’s ok. I’ll participate next year. Instead, I’ll probably go for the 10K, or maybe even just run an easy 5K, for the heck of it. And I’ve picked a new date for my first half-marathon: 21 September 2014.

As for triathlons, I had 4 races planned for this summer, but I think I’ll keep just one: the one nearby my hometown. It’s a tough one, with 750m swimming, but I love the area where the race is taking place and because it’s so close to home, it just feels right.

And this also means getting back to the gym and focus on muscle strength and endurance (especially my core), something I’ve neglected a lot these past months.

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Weight off my shoulders

I’m in my first long-ish weight loss stall since WLS! My scale still indicates I’m losing body fat and gaining muscles, so I’m not worried too much, but I’d be lying if I’d say I wasn’t frustrated… I’m still training  5-6 days per week, a mix of biking, running, boot camp style training and strength training, and sometimes I have trouble seeing the results of all of my hard work. I talked to my personal trainer about my frustration, and he worked up a weight lifting session for me. I thought it was just to boost my metabolism a bit through strength training, but he had actually another idea in mind!

foto 1On this picture, I’m dead-lifting exactly the amount of weight I lost since WLS. It was HEAVY. It was HARD. Then came the realization that I was carrying all this weight around for so long, all day, every day. When you are so heavy, even though you know you are heavy, you don’t really feel it. It creeps in slowly, pound by pound. You feel pain in your joints, your feet, but you don’t really feel the extra weight. It was a great feeling to literally feel the weight come off my shoulders as I put the barbell back on the floor. And then I looked closely at the pictures my personal trainer made and sent to me — and I saw my shoulders and arms muscles. DAYIM! No way I would have been able to dead-lift this amount of weight just 6 months ago. Now I see all the hard work of the past months, now I see it has paid off. And I can tell you, it’s only the beginning!

I’ve also had a very constructive conversation with the dietitian who is following me post-WLS. Basically, I’m not eating enough for the amount of exercise I’m doing, and I’m not refueling properly. The day after a particularly intense training session or long run, I’m always ravenous. I could eat everything and anything, and this usually leads to me eating too much at a time (and reach for all the bad stuff with too much sugar and fat), and my pouch really doesn’t like it! She told me to keep my current diet, but to add recovery snacks high in protein and carbs post-exercise, and always keep a protein shake at hand, so I don’t grab the wrong foods when I feel hungry. I’ve been putting this new diet in practice last week, and I must admit I’ve felt much better. I have more energy when exercising, and I don’t feel like I could eat a horse the following day.

And I’ll definitely keep putting the dietitian’s advice in practice, because my first ever triathlon is in less than three weeks! OMG! I’m staring to freak a little. Scared that I’m not fit enough, that I’m too slow, that I just can’t swim properly… arrrgghhhhhh I know I should stop this negative talk and think happy thoughts, but it’s hard!

Dusting off old training equipments

Dusting off old training equipments

I bought this trainer a loooong time ago. 2009? 2010? I can’t remember. It was part of a New Year resolution, and I was happy I got it on sale in January at the time.

I never really used it, only a few times. I was seriously lacking the motivation and the energy to do anything serious with it.

But now, things have changed 😉 Or at least, I’l trying to make them change. I have this triathlon thing to train for, and I need to build up endurance. I don’t feel like sitting 1 hour+ on a bike at the gym (boring!), so until I can go ride outside, why not actually use the equipment I have at home? And watch a movie while I’m at it. Or just my favorite show.

I’m hoping I can retrieve my bike from storage today and install it on the trainer. One hour on this thing looks like an ideal Monday evening training to me 😉

Tri’-ing for a triathlon, again

Four years ago, almost at the same date, I signed up for my first triathlon. Unfortunately, I never managed to get the training and the preparation done, and in the end, I didn’t participate.

But it’s been nagging me ever since.

So I did it again. I signed up for my first super-sprint triathlon, to take place in August. I have 7 months to train and prepare. I should manage, right? I mean, I’m still busy building up my running with the Start to Run program, but in 7 months, I should be able to run 2.5km. I have yet to get on my bike, but I’ve been cycling at the gym and I’ll join spinning classes soon. And as soon as the weather gets better, I’ll hit the road with my bike, for sure. And 10km on the bike ain’t too bad. The biggest challenge, and my biggest weakness, is swimming. I suck at it, and the swimming pools in my area are not open when I would need them to be, so I’ll have to do wonders to make swimming training fit around my schedule. Anyway, if I want it enough, I can make it work, right? Even if that means going for a swim at 7:00 in the morning and get to the office later than usual. Or something.

I’ll have a chat with my personal trainer next Tuesday, to get advice on what muscle groups I should focus on when I’m training on my own at the gym, or at home. ‘Cause yeah, I’ve been assembling a cool mini gym at home. I love my pink stability ball 😉

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I’m still going to check out my triathlon training books, but advice from a pro cannot hurt. And it also gives us a focus for our personal training sessions: working out to get fit for my first triathlon! I’m excited just thinking about it 🙂

I’ll give the swimming pool a try this weekend, wish me luck!