Wednesday, October 10, 2012
So, today was weird. If you know me well, you might know that I have a thing where my body kind of naturally wakes up between 3am & 4am every morning. I generally lay there wide awake for a bit and then fall back asleep.
This morning, I woke up at 4am and my mind started racing. I started to worry about things and the stress of this next week or so started to creep in...and, well, I was AWAKE. I had originally planned on going to the Y to swim at 7am this morning. But, I switched up my routine and decided to just get up and go. Doors open at 5am and I figured I could maybe sneak an extra 1/2 hour on the elliptical (because it's less crowded so early). There's a 30 minute limit.
In case you wondered, there IS a line of people waiting outside the YMCA at 4:45am waiting for the doors to open. I counted 14. Geez....FREAKS.
Got in, got on the elliptical. Did my hour. All done before 6am. I was feeling GREAT! At the same time, I was driving away and thought, "It feels like I didn't even work out. It feels like it didn't even count."
That's when Inner Jillian (IJ) shouted at me, "LIKE IT DOESN'T EVEN COUNT????? Wait a second...wait. Remember the first time you used the elliptical?"
IJ: How long did you last that first time?
ME: Uhh...5 minutes.
IJ: Yeah...you're right. Doesn't even count. Psssh.
Well, you know...the day went on and work happened, etc etc etc. Legs started to feel this morning's workout eventually. Feeling awful stiff now. Definitely going to eat my words now! Haha. Definitely counted!!!!
And around 3pm, as I was doing the most awful tedious website proofing work (click a link, document the result....read EVERY single word of a 50 page website and scan for typos...omg....it's AWFUL!!!!!), I started to feel pretty darn exhausted.
It was then that I second-guessed my choice to get up at 4am! Haha.
Luckily, my little boy JUST came by and said he is getting sleepy and is ready for bed (it's only 7:45 and he had a nap today!) THANK GOD!!! I am more than happy to take him to bed (and get to go to sleep early).
Plus....you know...I wanna be in the pool no later than 6am tomorrow.
Friday, October 05, 2012
I had another rough start this morning. Alarm sounded and I had about a 5-minute inner battle about whether to go back to sleep or get up and work out, as planned. I reasoned, "I worked out yesterday, so I'm good. I can sleep a bit more today." But then thought, "Yeah, but you felt so awesome after yesterday's workout. Why wouldn't you want that again?"
Somehow, I got up and went. Swimming again. You might as well get used to it...I have planned the next 52 weeks of training and the Prep/Base phase is going to consist almost exclusively of bike/spinning, swim and weight training. No weight bearing for this chick until February.
Got in the pool and, once again, didn't want to do my swim. AGAIN, it took me TWENTY lengths to even want to be there.
But today...today...would be a special day. (The best part about regular workouts is that you never know when these days will come around. It's ALWAYS a surprise when you hit a breakthrough.)
Today, I planned on my typical 30 lengths in 30 minutes. Was right on schedule. As I've mentioned before, my biggest issue is breathing. I frequently stop to rest (usually every two lengths). The most I've ever gone without stopping is 4 lengths.
This morning, I thought to myself, "Leah...just relax and stop tensing up your body. If you think about it, your body feels just fine. There are no rules...you can breathe as much as you want. Who is stopping you? This stopping every 2-4 lengths is 100% mental. You can beat this right now."
At 20 lengths, I had 10 more to go...just 5 full laps. The most continuous laps I've swam is 2. I challenged myself to swim my last 5 laps/10 lengths without stopping. Slow and easy, Leah. Slow and easy. This is a "cool down".
So, I did it.
Yep. But I didn't just do 10 lengths. I still had 3 minutes left after 10 lengths. So I did 4 more lengths. (That's my personal best - 34 lengths - the past two workouts in the pool, I've done 34. My personal best has become everyday normal!)
So, yeah...swam 14 lengths without stopping.
Thursday, October 04, 2012
OK, we've ALL seen this motivational poster...
Admit it...the first time you saw it, you were all, "TOTALLY TRUE!!!! I LOVE THAT SO MUCH!"
Then you saw it a few hundred more times...to the point where you no longer get excited when you see it and you probably just vomited in your mouth a little when you saw it here on my blog. Be honest. Hey...I feel the same way about all motivational quotes that seem to make the rounds over and over.
But sometimes seasons come where you can see things in a fresh light. I've made no efforts to hide the fact in the past that I struggle with depression. It's a lovely little ailment that my Mum was kind enough to pass down to me when I was just a wee little lass (i.e. official medical term is "dysthymia").
Anyway, I've been in a bit of a slump since my race last week. As for diet, I have been in a slump since before the race. My food choices have just been awful since last Friday.
Because the 10k was so hard on my left knee, I have not attempted any workouts this week either. When you add up a horrible diet and no workouts and the low level depression that I normally feel at all times, it's kind of a recipe for emotional disaster. It seems crazy even to me that a slump of just 4 days can have such a profound impact on a person, but here is where depression is a tricky little son of a gun.
Guys, I literally had this thought yesterday: "Maybe this IS all just a phase. Maybe I should just give up. I don't feel like doing anything. I've lost my momentum and maybe I should just run this half and be done for good."
EXCUSE ME????? WHAT?????!!!!!
Luckily, I also have an inner Jillian Michaels, who immediately flared up and gave me quite a talking to - complete with bleeped out words. I'll spare you the actual dialogue because I'm sure you can imagine. It was somewhat more animated than this, but held the same basic message:
So, what do you do when you hit a slump and you don't have the DESIRE to change?
1. Get your workout stuff ready. Pack the gym bag and put it by your stuff and put your workout clothes right next to your bed.
2. Set your stupid alarm clock way earlier than you want to set it.
3. When the alarm clock goes off, get your ass out of bed and get dressed. Walk out the door.
4. Drive to your exercise destination. Even if, like me this morning, you are complaining and upset the entire way.
5. Get in the stupid pool (tailored to my particular workout this morning). Forget about HOW MUCH you DO NOT want to do this.
6. Start swimming.
7. Keep swimming. Might as well...you're already in there...and it's only 30 minutes. (FYI...it took me 20 lengths to actually feel like being in the pool was maybe a good choice for this morning...TWENTY!)
8. Do it for half an hour. Stop bitching.
That's it, folks.
And here is where the miracle is delivered. The change in my heart, mind and emotions was absolutely astounding this morning. I felt amazing physically and like I was given a fresh start with my diet. More than that, I actually WANTED healthy food after that workout! The two really go go hand in hand.
I immediately thought of the poster that had annoyed me so many times and realized the truth of those words. It is only after a slump so deep and dark that I can appreciate those words and truly understand them.
Last night, I fell asleep thinking to myself, "Someone needs to save me and pull me out of this." Well, guess what...I didn't need anyone to do it for me. I just needed to make a decision to get out there and do what I know is right. And it changed everything.
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