3.5lb loss; 26.5lb total; 4.5lb in 2014.
I was going to post this update separate from the Ironman updates. But then changed my mind. Since the topic is so inextricably linked, it felt right to be situated right here in the Ironman countdown.
Last week I had a bit of a break down. I don’t want to be sensational about it or scream it from the rooftops. Just acknowledge it out loud.
I’d experienced one before. Just before Alan and I got married, I was commissioned to teach domestic violence awareness to officers in the police service. It was a stimulating and passionate topic and at first I found it challenging and invigorating. But it didn’t take long to realise that with an estimated figure of 1 out of every 3 women a victim, each class of between 16 and 20, included plenty of victims and plenty of perpetrators. That doesn’t include those who knew victims or perpetrators or had lived with one. It soon became clear that everyone in some way had experienced it and had forged some sort of emotional link to the topic.
The trainers course taught us how to open the box and shuffle the contents, but unfortunately had neglected to tell us how to pack the box away at the end of the day.
I was completely out of my depth.
Eventually, emotionally exhausted, I exploded. I embraced long term sick leave with nothing other than a dumb relief. The sick leave ran into annual leave containing our wedding and a fabulous honeymoon in New Zealand. Alan as kind and generous as ever, loved and cherished me back to health.
By the time I returned to work, the domestic violence teaching cycle had passed and I slipped back into things as though they had never happened.
Since then, I occasionally get dark days when everything feels a little too much. But then, so does everyone. I knew trying to train properly for the Ironman and have the mental strength to change life sufficiently to lose weight as well as run two full time businesses at their potentially busiest times of the year would test the resilience of my mental health.
And that when I was sat on the stool putting my shoes on with tears running down my face I had failed that test once again. I was completely done, spent, exhausted. I had nothing left.
Of course, the sick leave policy is rubbish when you own your own business. So, once again, Alan came to the rescue. Holding the fort in the shop while I recuperated at home and got the preparations for the Bookham 10k done in relative peace. I cancelled all my commitments last week. No Sue and no Peter and no pressure. Just sleep and complete rest for a few days. Happily I began to feel much better very quickly.
I know some of you reading this may just think ‘get a grip girl, you don’t know how lucky you are’. And that’s ok, I am so incredibly lucky that I feel guilty for feeling such despair. But I also know that some of you reading this have gone through the same things I did last week. The purpose of this is not to take you all down with me ;O) But just to acknowledge that it’s ok to let things go once in a while when you need a break. To just pop down the burden for a while. So when you feel ready to pick it back up again. You do so willingly and with a strong mind. I think I was lucky this time that I caught it quickly and dealt with it efficiently. And most of that was down to the kindness and generosity of my husband.
Three days of the Twilight films on repeat meant that by Friday, I was sufficiently recovered and very much desperate for another trip to Barries shed of spin truth. When he tells you he has something special up his sleeve it’s best to go in slightly scared. But I genuinely didn’t know what to expect and whether my head would cope.
This weeks treat was a 40 minute ‘race’ sandwiched by a short warm up and cool down. We barely got our legs turning when we were off and into the red zone of around 88-95% heart rate max for the full session.
It was literally vomit inducing. At one point there was a definite 50/50 burp or vomit situation and I genuinely didn’t know which it would be. Fortunately, no vomit bucket required on this occasion. At one point one of the other riders let out a groan of effort or exasperation. It made me giggle, it sounded just…well…so desperate.
It was a fantastic session. The collective energy of those in the room was inspiring and uplifting and I loved it. It was an upbeat way to end the week and left my head empty again but this time with exercise fatigue, not gloom. It’s a much nicer place to be.