I have hit my first lull.
This week I have struggled to get out of bed at 5:00am, and have more than once hit snooze until 5:30am.
It started last Monday; I got up at 5:00am, had my favourite pre-sport breakfast (2 x crumpets with honey), drank a cup of coffee, got dressed and packed my swimming bag. Jacket on, beanie on, literally walking out of the door.
Next thing, this voice inside me said “you know what, it’s a Monday – you only have one training session today – why don’t you do it after work instead? That way you can have an extra TWO HOURS in that cosy warm bed”.
Tracksuit off, Jim-jams back on. Sleep. 7:00 Alarm. Snooze. 7:30 Alarm, get up.
I gave in.
All day at work I told myself I was training tonight “I’ll head home, grab my stuff, then head to the pool”.
That, quite obviously, never happened.
But the next day, it was a different matter. Tuesday, I trained like my Olympic selection depended on it. At 5:45am I left the house in the freezing cold on my bike and headed to Kew Boulevard. I rode two laps in the pitch black pre-dawn freezing cold. Then I went to work and ate consistently for about two hours. Lunchtime was running club; ‘Ironman Nic’ (as he is now known, having competed in multiple IM races) decided he would set a lightning pace. I struggled with fatigue and my legs were like lead, but still maintained sub 4:30kms for just over 8km (well, the majority of 8kms…). After work I was totally shattered. Went to bed super-early to make sure I woke up fresh for the next day’s swim session…
5:00am – Obviously, The Voice came back. And having one victory under its belt, it knew what winning felt like, and had a hunch it could get a repeat performance with consistency. Needless to say, I didn’t get out of bed, and told myself I would train after work.
I got home from work, and was shattered, moody, stomach ache (Crohn’s Disease doesn’t cope well with the amount of crap I have been eating at work recently) and generally just overflowing with lethargy. Although I don’t think lethargy would overflow necessarily. It would probably sludge slowly downwards, not by its own energy, but driven purely by gravity. Yes, I was lethargy-goo.
Strangely, Thursday was back to my Olympic-qualifying regime; 5:00am wake up, eat breakfast, coffee, get dressed and get out on the bike. Today was even colder than Tuesday, and a thick fog had enveloped Melbourne. Not only did it make it colder and damper, the fog decreased the 2% visibility to just 0.5% visibility on Kew Boulevard (there’s no street lights, and my bike light is crap, so you just follow the white line painted on the side of the road. Please don’t panic Mum, I’ll get a new light soon, but they are really expensive so I need to save…). It was really scary but super-invigorating and I loved every minute.
Work, eat, recover, then lunchtime running club again. The legs were feeling like cake-mix again, and I was still shattered from the ride. But no excuses at running club (apparently) and again the boys set a wicked pace.
Friday was meant to be a day off – but since I already had two days without swimming, I told myself I would swim. But, you guessed it, I bunked-off swim-school again. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME? *answers/recommendations/advice in the comments below please.
To add more into the mix, Friday night was a big charity gala organised by work. You had to go dressed as something you wanted to be when you grew up. I went as Shackleton. Obviously. Not only did I come second in the fancy dress competition, I also drank four (small) beers. I was in bed before 11:30pm, rehydrated, fed, and ready for the next morning’s long ride. Now, based on my previously determined alcohol consumption limiting levels, I should have been fine. Unfortunately, I didn’t account for my poorly liver keeping me up most of the night, resulting in only a couple of hours sleep.
Thus, 6:00am came around far too soon, and I decided not to go on our team ride, but instead to get a couple more hours sleep, and then head out on my own.
For anyone that hasn’t cycled 115km alone (everyone apart from the Ironmen and die-hard cyclists out there) I’ll try to describe it to you: this was my first ever ride over 100km and all previous rides had been in a group, where you are somewhat protected from the elements and a great deal of drag by drafting (I’m pretty weak, so I spend most of my rides drafting behind the boys). The ride was charming -for about 45km. After that it was difficult. Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. I was tired, hungry, thirsty, bored, moody, then happy, then moody again, then bored, then exhausted, then even more exhausted than I thought possible.
But I did it.
This week will be better. I will be motivated. I will diminish The Voice that lets me go back to bed. I will pay attention to Lance Armstrong when he tells me to get up. I will get up at 5:00am tomorrow and go swimming. Except that tomorrow night I have a swimming lesson after work, so perhaps I could just….