Thanks guys for listening to my “emotional” post – sometimes it helps to get things out, right?
So as I alluded to in my last post, week 7 wasn’t my most stellar week, but it also taught me a few things and showed me that while I’m going full-on in training, I need to savor the journey and slow down a little and still enjoy my “non-training” side of life.
The week started out well – I had a couple great swims, even one with 20×100’s where I was hitting 1:30 sec/100yds consistently (with a lot of rest, that is!). It surprised me even, and I felt like I was gliding in the pool. And during my bikes I was hitting my power and my run done on a local track was swift and almost felt easy.
BUT I came down with something. I haven’t been sick in ten months, which may not sound like much, but I’m pretty proud of how much my immune system has improved. It’s a milestone, since in past years I’ve gotten sick at least a couple times a year. But still, despite my best efforts, at the beginning of this week, I could feel I was coming down with something. Pollen has been higher than I’ve ever seen (my car is covered in yellow), and everyone has been sneezing. On top of that, I was around a lot of sick people at work (c’mon people, don’t go to work if you’re sick!!), and was under some stress that I talked about in the last post. I don’t doubt it’s a combination of environment, exposure, and mental/emotional health that triggered the sickness. Gotta take care of yourself both physically AND mentally. (By the way, we didn’t get the house, but at the same time, I am relieved, I was not ready to purchase a house in the midst of big training blocks!)
Anyway, at first I was mad at myself for getting sick – what did I do wrong?? Not eat enough fruits? Not use hand sanitizer after shaking someone’s hand? I felt like I’d let myself down – I know, I blame a lot on myself. Well, then I realized that what happened happened, and there was not much I could do but to accept that I was sick, and do my best to get better (rest, hydrate, etc.). Being sick was an uncontrollable, and the best thing I could do for myself was to rest and get better as soon as possible.
So that’s what I did – I took two full days off training. Friday I spent some time around the house and eating spicy veggie Thai curry ( to clear my sinus!) and playing board games with David. I considered training Saturday, but opted not to in hopes that I would rest and have a really great workout Sunday instead of a not-so-good Saturday workout where I wouldn’t have any gains. I had to listen to what my body told me.
By Sunday I’d gotten lots of sleep, nutritious food and water, and I felt almost 100%, so I decided to go for my workout – a 4 hr ride + 45 minute run. And you know what? It was awesome! A beautiful day to bike and felt great afterwards too. I did overheat a little on the run and was wishing I had some ice water, but it was good I learned what I will need for future warmer weather. And the best part? Getting to stage my bricks at my in-laws house. They are the best! Their house is almost right on the IMTX course and has a great running trail, so I can bike right from their house, finish my brick run and then shower and refuel by cooking a delicious meal there and also getting to visit with them. I feel pretty lucky!
So on Sunday night, when I was headed to bed, with sore legs from a windy 70+ mi bike, tired eyes, and a happy tummy, I thanked my body. I know it’s funny to do, but I acknowledged, “Wow, you are fighting a sickness and still able to pull right out of it in 2 days and get me back in action for an endurance brick – Thank You”. I know, it sounds crazy at first referring to your body as a separate entity, but for me, this was one of those aha moments where I realized just how amazing my body is; and that I need to take care of my body so it can take care of me! The body tries its best, but it depends a lot on what we do to it and what we put into it. If you think about it, it really is amazing the way the body repairs itself and keeps itself functioning through good times and bad.
Oh, and also on the bright side, being sick reminded me not to take things for granted and to get lots of fruits & veggies into my system! I think I was doing pretty well before, but I guess I could use a few more whole fruits and veggies here and there, and green smoothies never hurt. From top left: kale-ginger-mango smoothie, dessert berry-honey-granola bowl, baked pasta with greens, broccoli and mushrooms, and a side salad from my work lunch (I pack a few of these each week and have them as a side with a main entrée – usually some leftovers).
So that was the silver lining to week 7 – I was able to slow down, practice a little gratitude for both my amazing life & body, and remember to savor this journey I’m on! Here’s to a stellar last few big build weeks ahead!