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maybe I should explain...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

In a word, I have been struggling of late. I surprised a few people when I dropped my team leadership positions and I am really sorry for the sudden no notice departures. I really have not wanted to blog about this but I feel it is time and I guess I shouldnt care about what sort of reaction i get, Im human, no apologies needed.

I have felt totally flat since about a month before the marathon so it isnt so much post marathon blues as it is that I think Im running out of gas or something like that. Even something as simple as leading a Sparkteam, which frankly didnt demand that much, felt like a crushing burden.

I dont know why. I just felt like I couldnt do it anymore.

I havent lost my desire to work out although I have been pretty frustrated lately at my inconsistancy and I feel like I am constantly kept off balance by my work demands etc.... but that is just the way it is, life does not have a reset button or a brake pedal. Either roll with it or get run over.

In alot of ways, i feel really drained and dont have very much to offer anyone in terms of support or encouragement.

The Half Marathon team was my first love and to leave it did not make me feel good. I sometimes wonder if I made the right choice. they are such a great bunch. i love 'em dearly. Feels like family.

Frankly, I dont know what I am going to do with myself. For right now, the only answer I have is to keep going and stay the course and hopefully my feelings will catch up. I need to get in touch with my inner Spark-Warrior.

The biggest challenge is yet ahead of me.

I need to lose weight (gasp) (big surprised look on everyones faces)

For the last year and a half, I have pushed my limits. I have found them and can go no further. My weight stands in my way like a brick wall. I feel like an Ironman trapped inside a marshmallow body. I have some serious mental blocks about losing weight since I have lost almost no weight during my distance training, whereas before, it used to almost fall off.

Maybe I feel that I wont get anywhere, deep down like I am going to fail. I never thought I would see the day that I would be so fit (for my weight) that I can say.."well, its ONLY a half marathon" as if I was just going out for a jog or something. So fit, that I could take on a marathon and succeed but yet losing 10 pounds or even a pound seems so impossible.

Its all mental, thats all but still, perception is reality.

I really need a scale victory to get the ball rolling.

On another note, I bought an indoor cycle trainer that I can hook up to my bike and get some riding done during the winter months.. I got a Cycleops Magneto trainer. Between that and learning to swim, I have the challenges to keep me occupied this winter.
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    Having just finished my first and only half on 10/2, i'd tell you that to accomplish your goals of being an ironman you got to change it up. Distance training is what it is, and it's hard as heck. I gained 8 pounds pre-race simply by adding enough carbs back to my diet to run and do boot camp. I just dropped those 8 and a couple more so I'm actually back on track to lose the 50 I set off to lose. Find your SPARK AGAIN, maybe start with the quick start again? Don't beat your self up over running, set off to do two 30 minute runs a week and one hour on the weekend and FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO, give your knees a rest!

    Start biking, take some swimming lessons at the Y, whatever-something TOTALLY different, your body is only using it's running muscles, try something new and set a manageable goal, like 6 weeks-get your butt kicked with a spinning class. Every form of sweat equity counts towards Ironman! Get your eating back to weight loss, not distance mode and change it up! Pulling for you here in Cali! Based on your previous success I don't see FAILURE as an option, do you? emoticon
    1735 days ago
    Having just finished my first and only half on 10/2, i'd tell you that to accomplish your goals of being an ironman you got to change it up. Distance training is what it is, and it's hard as heck. I gained 8 pounds pre-race simply by adding enough carbs back to my diet to run and do boot camp. I just dropped those 8 and a couple more so I'm actually back on track to lose the 50 I set off to lose. Find your SPARK AGAIN, maybe start with the quick start again? Don't beat your self up over running, set off to do two 30 minute runs a week and one hour on the weekend and FIND SOMETHING ELSE TO DO, give your knees a rest!

    Start biking, take some swimming lessons at the Y, whatever-something TOTALLY different, your body is only using it's running muscles, try something new and set a manageable goal, like 6 weeks-get your butt kicked with a spinning class. Every form of sweat equity counts towards Ironman! Get your eating back to weight loss, not distance mode and change it up! Pulling for you here in Cali! Based on your previous success I don't see FAILURE as an option, do you? emoticon
    1735 days ago
    I can totally relate, and unfortunately I'm not feeling very up to being encouraging to others myself... but you should know that EVERYTHING you have done is VERY inspirational to me, as I know it is to lots and lots of people everywhere! I understand needing to step back and feeling overwhelmed by even little things, but remember that you're still you, and you're still winning the battle! (:
    1738 days ago
  • v MISSLISA1973
    Sorry to hear what you are going through. Sounds like it is time to make changes and that you are doing what is right for you at this time. Best to you!
    1739 days ago
    you can do this.

    1739 days ago
    Take a rest and a small (healthy) break, you have worked hard. Rejuvenate. You will come back stronger than ever!
    1739 days ago
    That Ironman that is inside of you is going to emerge and the weight will come off.

    It sounds like your work schedule is probably wreaking havoc with your eating and exercise plan. The shorter days and rain, that seems to be non-stop, are probably not helping you either. I know that vitamin D has helped me in the past.

    You are so right either you roll or you get run over. Ride, Robert, ride.
    1739 days ago
    One of the aspects of your everyday life that I think is brutal is your work itinerary. Your biological clock no sooner adapts (well, at least minimally) to one timetable and then it's thrown topsy-turvy when you're moved to a new one. I personally think it's *cruel and unusual punishment!* Of course, I personally don't think swing shift is any more tolerable. Employees should be surveyed. Some people actually like that shift, and they should be able to do it, and with a slight monetary acknowledgment too perhaps.

    I hope this is like a dark cloud which makes everything seem so ominous for a spell...and then floats on...and the sun again becomes apparent, shining the light!
    1739 days ago
    #1 - you're not going to fail. I have adopted this as my mantra - has helped me with the plateau and feeling EXACTLY the way you say you're feeling now "If you're doing the right things, the weight WILL come off" It will. It has to.

    #2 - What other demands do you have on your life right now? A BIG lesson I have learned recently is that when other things demand of our time and energy we start to resent anything that takes away from time spent on ourselves. And when we resent, we get angry, and feel deprived. And the number one reason ANYONE emotionally eats is to fix that feeling of deprivation. So what is depriving you of your time with YOURSELF? Answer that question and you might start feeling a bit better about what you're doing here.

    I struggle with this every day. I'm getting really tired of my current job. I have big dreams and aspirations for all these OTHER things that I want to do, but my current schedule prevents a lot of those things from happening and so I resent anything that eats into my time to work on me. And then I eat. It's not a fun schedule. But we're all still here for you - regardless of how you're feeling. You'll come through this. Because look at all the other amazing things that you are capable of doing!
    1740 days ago
    I'm new to the website and just read your blog post. I do think it is hard when you set a big goal and achieve it and in the aftermath you can get that flat feeling. I've done it myself as have others. You got alot of great suggestions from everyone. I usually have good luck with revitalizing myself by going for runs but don't worry about how far or how fast, only run with the thought of having fun, feeling good. Concentrate on the joy of training, not on a goal for a while.

    Also, don't apologize for not always being in a lead position. Much of being a leader is being a servant and everyone needs a break now and then. Think of life like a long team bike ride and every so often the lead person drops to the back and drafts and a new person pulls, takes the front and the wind for a while. And that's not just okay, it's vital to sustainability.

    When I started training for a long distance race, my weight loss slowed to a standstill as well. I think it is because your body is adjusting to the increased mileage and you tend to eat more to fuel recovery. So focus on nutrition for a while, fueling immediately after working out, and fine tuning your nutrition to meet your training and recovery needs. Then hopefully progress will resume soon. Good luck and thanks for being such a great inspiration to others.
    1740 days ago
    Yup - I think switching things up in your training will help - both with kick starting the weight loss again and with feeling "flat". Sounds like the tri might be just the goal you need...sign up...I dare ya emoticon
    1740 days ago
    Hi i don't know you and you do not know me, I don't know what you have been through nor do you know what I have been through, but I can tell you something I believe you are awesome!!!!

    I have been in a rut for almost or so, I am almost 90% sure that it is seasonal but has not been help by hectic work and just overall tiredness. I was exercising everyday burning on average 4000 cal per week, while losing weight...which is amazing given that I was struggling to burn 3000 cal. I have been struggling to get back in the zone, I am not quitting! I have decided to cool down and review my goals...allow my body and mind to rest, quit smoking and at least maintain my weight loss.

    It is quite clear that you are capable of amazing things, so give yourself some resting time !!!!
    1740 days ago
    I think you've earned the right to some rest but you'll want to keep doing a little something every day to keep you burning. I know your spirit will come back - you've got that IronMan destiny!
    1740 days ago
  • v JMARIES51
    As someone who just found you and your blogs today, I have no real right to say anything, but will this stop me?... no, because I just want to say, you are an inspiration and maybe it is time to just breath it all in and take care of yourself. People get burned out for all sorts of reasons, and I would say that you have had a pretty long run (pun totally intended).

    I find my life is a series of being pumped up and then pulling back and reevaluating. Right now I just started jogging 8 weeks ago and I feel totally pumped up. So I am going to read your blogs and fill up on your good energy, and hopefully you will find just the right thing that clicks for you and gets you burning again. Good that you are taking care of yourself. And emoticon on all your hard work and fantastic results. emoticon Joann
    1740 days ago
    You can do it! Perhaps the new change of exercise/fun stuff for the winter months will help you. Portion control is definitely a big thing to me. I also choose healthier, better foods to fuel my body. I will succeed. You will succeed.
    I loved that part about roll with it or get run over. I have felt like this many times. I have huge time periods of being "stalled", but I have never left SparkPeople. That's what keeps me going.
    Hang in there! You root for me and I will root for you! Nadine emoticon emoticon
    1740 days ago

    Comment edited on: 10/20/2011 1:43:59 PM
    I'm sorry you're feeling down. Could it be seasonal depression? I struggled with it last year after training hard all summer for my first half and then dropping off into the cold with not as much to look forward to and much less sunlight and run time in my life.

    Remember, it's a long road. It will have it's ups and it's downs. As long as you're committed to the journey, that's what's important. Every day does not have to be the highest high.

    And it's ok to ask for help from your friends. You don't always have to be in the motivator position. I hope things start looking up soon!
    1740 days ago
    You have to make the right decisions for you!! That is what matters!! We will miss you as our fearless leader :o)

    Some of the things you posted hit home for me too. I ran a PR for my last half and now have no desire to run. It has been 1.5 weeks. I still love dancing and will continue to do both.
    1740 days ago
    We all have times like this! It's something called "over training". Time to switch activities for a while! Do you lift weights? Maybe it's time to give that a shot. It will bump up your metabolism and your weight will start to come off again.

    Also, how long has it been since you took a break? Seriously- I take a week off of training every 8-12 weeks, depending on how hard I have been working out. This might be your body asking for a rest. If you've been going at it a very long time you can take 2 weeks off with no guilt.

    Lastly, you may want to look back through my blogs. I have one titled "Moving Past a Weight Loss Plateau" that you might find particularly helpful. I'm wondering if your issue could also be not quite enough calories. Take a look!

    Sorry if this advice is unwanted. I'm a trainer, so it's kinda knitted into me. emoticon
    1740 days ago
    I appreciate your honesty! I am still and always seem to be at the beginning of my journey. Every day I am thinking of weight loss and getting no where. My recent "funk" has put me in a mind set of not caring at all. However, I am happy to report that I am finally coming out of it. Although not doing any particular regemine, I am not stressing and over eating. You seem like you need a change up. I'm sure it will all fall in to place. Best of luck!
    1740 days ago
    you need to take care of yourself!!! and you did that by dropping leaderships..we love you and your spot is there when and if you want it back. you are an inspiration to all have lifted us up now let us help YOU!!!
    big hugs!!
    1740 days ago
    Sometimes we all need to take a break or slow down and just get back to basics. I've had to do that many times, and when I get back to just the basics and take each day, meal and workout as it comes, I start to see results again. I have issues with mental funk as well, but the good news is that even if you feel you are on a downhill slope, the uphill will kick in!! emoticon
    1740 days ago
    Robert....I was feeling quite the same a while ago. I simply took a vacation from spark people and anything that wasn't absolutely necessary in my world; to concentrate on myself. To reboot, to regroup, to simply breath. It worked. I have returned and am feeling so much better. I am not going to take on as much as I had before, because I need to take care of me.

    Also, if you learn to swim or start a new exercise like biking, you will lose weight because your body reacts to a new type of exercise differently....but you know that.

    Take your time my friend, find your center again......the pounds will start dropping again.

    1740 days ago
  • v GERISUE63
    Thanks for being so honest! I can totally relate! I am in a fall funk and messed up with a sugar load the last 2 days and no exercise!!!! So I guess I understand feeling flat. Just don't care...or I do but don't have the motivation. The days are getting shorter and our bodies are going through hybernation mode(my counselor said) but I need to figure out how to fight through it. You have done awesome and running on a high for quite a while it sounds like. You do need rest and need to give yourself permission to do it. So many times we put everyone else first and try to make it through life on the leftovers. Isn't working anymore and I am proud of you for seeing that and doing something about it! Great job in saying"I have had enough". Take time to recouperate and enjoy it!
    1740 days ago
    You are amazing to me! Your accomplishments are inspiring. Life takes us on a winding path. We live between islets of perfection. You are in the between part right now. Hang in there if there were no feeling flat there would be no feeling high either. You are wonderful and human and that is the only way to be.
    emoticon emoticon
    1740 days ago
    Stepping back is sometimes what needs to be done. I read about how you completed the marathon on the Featured Blog Post. That is what brought me to your page. My son finished the Detroit marathon on Sunday. I am so proud of him and I like reading about others who finish. It is an accomplishment for all who finish and it gives me hope.

    Continue to follow your exercise and food plan as much as you can, even on the days when you don't feel like it. Doing something different might be the 'spark' you need to re-ignite your enthusiasm. Taking care of yourself is your first priority and for now, that is all you need to be concerned about. emoticon

    Judy emoticon
    1740 days ago
    IT gets to a point we can't be everything to/for everyone. Life can be demanding, people can expect too much from you once you have given a little.

    Stepping back from some heart felt obligations is not the end of the world. Someone else is always there to pick up the pieces.

    I am so glad to hear that you haven't lost your desire to keep exercising.
    1740 days ago
    Swimming has been one of my passion every since I was a little girl. I think it's a much for everyone to learn how to emoticon . However, I much confess that I hadn't been in the pool 11 years until recently this year when one of my friends ask me to teach her to emoticon . I had given up on my passion years ago when I picked up the extra weight. I with you on this and I have to make it a point to go emoticon during these winter months and fall back in love with what came so natural to me. Happy emoticon !
    1740 days ago
    Sometimes it's OK to just roll along with the flow. Take a break! You'll come back stronger.
    I have the same experience with distance training - I can't lose weight, in fact I gain weight. You'll get your mojo back!
    1740 days ago
  • v KAWIKA1969
    We have never met and I believe that is my loss. I have a bad habit of being to honest for own good. I agree with you, we are human and no apologies are needed. I have eased up a bit here these last few months, too. In regards to weight loss, I am in maintenance mode. I've loss 85 lbs, would like to lose more weight and I will in time. I've not ran a marathon, I may not be as physically fit. I know where I was, I know I am in better place today and I am looking forward to my tomorrow.

    I am sure you realize where you were, what you have accomplished and the inspiration you have given to all of us. Your tomorrow will come, too.
    1740 days ago
    You will get a spark recharge at some point do what you need to do, we will all be here when you get sparkified again, cause gasp surprise (we all still have weight to lose too). I will still be in touch with you!
    1741 days ago
    As with all things, there are peaks and are in the valley. You will rise out of it just like a Phoenix rising from the ashes - of that I am certain. You already have a winter plan in place - good for you! Step 1. Now you keep taking those baby steps til you are ready to jump again. You are amazing and are a true warrior!!
    1741 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your struggles. I just started Sparking today again after a long hiatus. I definitely feel where you are coming from. I feel like an athlete in some respects. This year, I've ran 3 half marathons this year, rode a century, a 24hr relay, 10ks, 5ks. How can I still be fat? But there is the truth staring me down in the race day pics. I'm back here because I think I can have a scale victory. Good luck with yours!
    1741 days ago
  • v IMSMILEY88
    Don't worry about the HM team, I bet the door will reopen for you if/when you are ready. And, you continue to inspire us whether you are an official leader or not.

    And, you have lost a lot of weight, do you know what to do, right? And, while you're losing weight you can run, bike & learn to swim...all yo get ready for a triathlon, right? Maybe yo can join an SP tri team to get some advice & support?

    We are all cheering for you!!
    1741 days ago
  • v BLUEROSE73
    Hang in there. You can get past this block. Good for you for recognizing you needed to step back and focus on you for a while. That's a great first step. Now don't stop. Keep digging until you either find what caused this, or dig your way back out.
    1741 days ago
    hang in there! I have heard many people state that you will NOT lose weight training for a marathon. So your new trainer and shifting your exercise plan just might be the trick!
    emoticon emoticon
    1741 days ago
    I could have.. well.. DID.. write this blog, only mine wasn't about stepping down as a leader, but simply not having that Spark, that oomph in me at the moment. I'm stalled in my releasing of the lbs, just like you. I'm done with my racing season (such as it is LOL) and I'm allowing myself time off from training to focus on releasing more lbs.

    Who was it who told us it's not about losing 100 lbs, but 1 lb, over and over?

    Obviously you're not alone. I know that's not necessarily comforting or encouraging, but it's true none the less. Take time for you and your family. Set new goals. Chart a new course. Shake up your life/efforts/plans. Begin anew.
    1741 days ago
    You will figure it out - so don't beat yourself up! There is nothing wrong with stepping back from multiple responsibilities/goals and reflecting -it gives you an opportunity to reassess your goals, dreams and find renewed strength and inspiration.
    It's been inspiring reading about your progress - I thank you for sharing both the good and the reminds me that we all go through 'phases' on this journey to be healthy and fit - and inspires me to keep working towards my own goals -through the good and the bad. Thank you! emoticon emoticon
    1741 days ago
  • v JERRYB56
    Just a passing thought: Be sure that you take on new responsibilities and challenges because you really want to - not because someone (maybe even in your own psyche) thinks you "should," or because it will impress others, or because you need to live up to someone else's standards. I know I do this sometimes. I assume some sort of position or responsibility, and then, after the fact, think "why in the world did I do THAT?" emoticon
    1741 days ago
  • v FITFOODIE806
    It IS so very mental. I hope you can take the time and find what are those mental blocks. You have proven how strong you are. You will get through this too.
    1741 days ago
    Robert you are so amazing. Everyone comes to this cross road in life and I am sure you will CHOOSE the right path for YOU! You have a great support with your wife and family. She has joined you and you two can do this together. In my observation I have found that many running enthusiast have a drop after a BIG run. And you had a VERY big run. With so many things demanding of your time and energy, it's only natural your body wants a brake. We can't live in an overdrive state for too long. Take the brake you need right now. You can always pick up the teams with your encouraging blogs. It's YOUR time to refocus and regroup. Let us be here for YOU! Lord knows you have been there for US! You will figure this thing out. Please don't give up on yourself. And remember: We are all cheering you on! Keep Sparking! We love to see you shine emoticon
    1741 days ago
  • v BAM0827
    I'm told losing weight during endurance training is so hard. I keep telling myself that as I trained for halfs this year and saw little change on the scale.

    Maybe start the Spark Stages over again would help? Refocusing on what was successful before.

    Remember that you have everything within you to figure it out. Believe in you just like you believed in yourself throughout your marathon.

    1741 days ago
    (sigh).. .Its hard... and yet we are worth every single step we take towards our goal

    but some days we don't wanna walk - or even take the first step.

    I hear you.. loud and clear. Wish I had a wonderful answer too, but I don't. Only thing that keeps me going is that I am better than I was when I started, and I'm not willing to go back to start. EVER.

    side note: I'm learning to swim too! My mini goal is to swim 5 laps (10 lengths) consecutively (like my 10 yr old daughter can do). So far? I am at 1/2 a lap (ONE length) lol... but I am not winded anymore at the end of it... so who knows where I will end up?

    Hang in there...

    1741 days ago
    Don't feel bad about not leading a team. Sometimes you have to take time for yourself before you can cheer others on. Just think.. you will a much stronger leader when or if you decide to become a leader again! emoticon
    1741 days ago
    I think you need to feed yourself. If your giving, giving, have nothing left for you. I think sometimes we can also make ourselves so busy, life just becomes a total burnout. For me...going to church on Sunday and getting myself back into balance is crucial. But I don't volunteer for much. Between being a single Mom and working full time plus, and trying to keep myself healthy, there isn't a lot of time left. So take a good look at your life and see what you need to cut. Not losing weight while you are working that hard is a symptom. You are trying to take care of you by feeding yourself too much. But you aren't feeding yourself the right thing. Make sense? Robin
    1741 days ago
  • v JENJESS48
    Sometimes we all hit the wall, in one way or another. Kudos for figuring out what is holding you back - and for taking care of yourself! emoticon
    1741 days ago
    Everyone needs to regroup from time to time, not just in weight loss but in every aspect of life. Your right it means your human. As far as the weight loss goes it's possible that you have gotten into an exercise rutt and need to change up everything for a while. Also check out your foods and make sure you are getting a variety the includes all the things your body needs to balance with the exercise you are doing. After that, take your break and enjoy it. Sometimes your body is just telling you it needs a rest period. Listen to you inner self and do what is right for you.

    1741 days ago
  • v TKD_1D
    I have lost my spark...BIG TIME!! i totally relate to how you are feeling right now...what i am doing, is reevaluating my big goal...then i have made my smaller goals...but this time, i have made my smaller goals even there are more of them, just not as big...another thing, like what mbshazzer said, it can be more difficult to actually lose the weight while training for endurance versus strength or cardio also eat differently when endurance training...however, you have probably lost weight, but firmed up with tighter muscles...and so the scale won't show that...honestly, i have felt like i was on a sugar high lol i got so into all my training and eating good then all of sudden, for no apparant reason, it was all gone :( i am on my way back now, extremely small baby steps lol dont feel bad for needing YOU time... emoticon if you dont take care of you, you cant take care of others...let me know if there is anything i can do!!
    1741 days ago
    I've been fighting it too Robert - just do what you can do. Maybe your body needs a change of pace - maybe the running has done all it can do to help you lose. Have you considered trying an exercise video or weights, something that works a different part of your body? If you're already doing that, maybe you can just talk to a trainer or search out the web for advice.

    I've been a treadmill-aholic since I had my baby last year but just the last two weeks I've decided to break that habit and took up the elliptical at work. So far no massive changes in my body but I sure do feel stronger. I'm hoping for some changes on the scale soon - so far everything seems to be going in the right direction and I'm hoping today I'll see a change when I step on.
    1741 days ago
    You and I must be on the same schedule my friend. Geez! I'm in a lull in my project and feel like things are just flying past me out of control. I don't have any magic answers for you, not that you were looking for any. What I do have is lots of love and support to give.

    Mental barriers are the hardest to crack. Believe me, I know. When I swam competitively, one of my friends and I swam the same even. She would beat me every time. Even though I would regularly swim a much faster time than her. This went on for years. For some reason when we were up against each other, I always had a poor showing. Then, one day, I finally did it! I broke that streak and beat her. After that, she never beat me again. I just had to break that mental barrier. My wish for you is that you smash right on through that barrier (after you find it) and keep right on going. Once you do, there will be no stopping you!
    1741 days ago
  • v CIVIAV
    I hear you loud and clear cause it's near to my heart too. This pushing works but has it's times and now requires something else. What I know is, it will surprise me. He, he!
    1741 days ago
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