Uplifting days

Uplifting days

Hurray, hurrah! Ran eight miles this morning – I daren’t think about having to run three times this distance plus some more, gulp – and I didn’t stop at all during the run/lollop. My time wasn’t great, but I’m still pleased with the fact that I’ve trained outside both today and yesterday, despite feeling rotten physically and mentally. It helped that fewer people were around owing to it being half-term, but it was definitely a massive struggle resisting the urge to head back indoors and hide.

I was oop t’county earlier in the week and went swimming in a pool that’s well-known to me and one of which I’m very fond (sorry, that sentence seemed all too “up with which I shall not put”!). I’d planned this swim for a couple of days and it was fine until it came to the day itself. Honestly, you’d have thought that I detest swimming, or that it was a swimming gala: bad mood, sick to my stomach at the thought of it, did not want to go etc…for the first fifty lengths or so, I felt dreadful, rotten. Out of breath and things were not working. The pool was quite empty, and yet still I felt dreadful. And then it changed – I felt strong, as if I belonged in that water, I was flowing…a chap entered the lane next to me and it seemed as if he was challenging me. Now, I have little competitive spirit – unless I think I can do it, that I can overtake them and maintain that lead. I could see him just behind but I kept my pace…and maintained it for a further ten-ish lengths and then YAY! He started to lag and fall way behind! The satisfaction is worth the physical pain, really it is. This situation happens all too rarely these days, but I’m glad I managed to get in that water and beat…well, actually, I’m really glad that I beat that grotty dread and anxiety – much more so than actually being faster than someone else.

I seem to be waking up with a hangover-type feeling, although I’ve had only (at most) seven units of alcohol since December. I’m sleeping badly again these days (insomnia has featured largely throughout my adult life, but I try to accept and go with it, and not worry about waking up in the wee early hours) and now I’ve also started to wake up during the night feeling as if I’ve been on a full-blown booze-up the previous evening…not sure what to do about this. I don’t have much sugar and avoid caffeine, I hydrate well and am not keen on bread and pasta etc, so I don’t think it’s an overload of glucose or something similar (she said vaguely). But my run this morning was shadowed by my having a constant headache. Ah well – at the time, I tried to accept and see it as a chance to test my mental strength…I can do this; I can do this; I CAN DO THIS!! It seemed to work: I made it home in one piece.

Erm, albeit with a teeny bit of toothpaste on my cheek. The shame! No wonder people stared at me…also realised that a couple of passing cyclists would have seen my dancing arms as I jogged along (ah, the joys of a running playlist that includes Nine Inch Nails, Jane’s Addiction, Genesis, er, ELO and Abba. My twenty-year-old goth self would not be impressed!).

I’m a little concerned that there’s a huge fanbase for HR-monitoring – well, my concern is more that I should be doing this too. I have a rough idea of what my heart’s up to as I exercise, but recently I’ve seen many posts on social media extolling the joys of training for weeks in (say) Zone 2, and then seeing faster times after that training. Should I be doing the same, especially with my running? I know when I’ve done interval training (my own version, natch) I’ve seen decent results quite quickly…I guess I’ll probably stick to doing that, although I need to be working on my endurance rather than speed at the mo’. 26 miles of running. Blimey. I’ve only managed 17 miles before, and that turned ugly towards the end (oh! but the joys of a cup of tea when I’d finished! Bliss!). I definitely need to be upping the ante in both running and cycling.

I had to cut short my cycle yesterday morning, as my poor beloved – but failing – bike decided to give up the ghost in terms of gears. I thought I’d be stuck in the smaller gears all the way and was about to give up, when something kicked in inside and I decided to make a go of it, despite having to stop frequently to change up manually to the bigboy gears. The previous night’s forecast had been for 8mph winds and a distinct lack of rain – oh how I laughed as I battled against the headwind and wiped the raindrops off my nose and eyelashes…hey ho, I called it a day when the fog really settled in (hmm, not really a good excuse as I had lights and all the whatnots). So, about ten miles fewer than I’d planned, but it was still two hours’ worth of training. That’ll do for me! A weekend of swimming (I hope) and bike-fixing is in store…and maybe a try out – if I can brave the masses of tourists – of my new (hush now! speak quietly, to lessen the anguish of my old lovely gear-mangling bike) steed…so please let me chuck the usual anxieties and nerves to one side, pleeeeze…

…oh sod ‘em, I can do this!

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