21 Weeks to go – Countdown to IM Austria


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.


About PT Nicky

I'm a girl in the world just trying to make 1% improvements everyday. I recently qualified as a Personal Trainer. I certainly don't fit the aesthetic of a PT and I wanted to demonstrate that ordinary people can achieve their hearts desire. Clean eating advocate with paleo leanings.
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2 Responses to 21 Weeks to go – Countdown to IM Austria

  1. Amanda says:

    Of course it is distressing to read that you bombed, but perhaps not a surprise and perhaps needed to give you some down time to give you time to reflect, some peace and then hopeful emerge feeling calmer and rested. In November when I was in agony from my heel stress fracture work was manic and I had to somehow stagger in each day. The pain relentless, the swelling hideous and no respite whether foot up or down and I could not turn over in my sleep. I cancelled everything outside of work as I was too tired, in constant pain and misery and the pain just did not go. I could not even talk to anyone about it as I just had to get through the work and cope with the pain. I never realised how much I would miss running until it was taken from me and swimming and spinning just not the same. Anyway one evening I logged on and saw the RTL blog about the gingerbread feet on the church Christmas tree and big fat tears fell plop, plop, plop. You had ones with blisters and black toe nails but how do you show a heel stress fracture. For weeks I read about races and training and somehow that was no longer my world. Two weeks before Christmas the pain went and slowly I could start to run, a little at a time and then a little more, it was the best Christmas present. I had an early night on Christmas Eve and woke like a giddy 5 year old on Christmas Day as I had planned to start Christmas with running one of my favourite scenic routes with Steve cycling along side, and I did it. Even the sun peeked out, and my big black cloud lifted I just smiled as I knew I was going to be okay. I hope for you too your cloud lifts.

  2. Trevor Neal says:

    Hi Nicky, I have had that cloud for quite a few months now, and struggling to get out of it, I am ok working and my normal day to day life, but training a keeping the weight off has been hard.
    You do so much for others, and some me time is always needed.
    Looking forward to catching up in Seville, love to you th Trev and Gill xx

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