It’s been awhile.
Since the carnage of Tenby things have gone a little wrong in my tiny little world of sporting endeavours. Despite the best intentions of having a ‘small’ period of time off from training and then getting back into it with a vengeance, with renewed vigour and determination to be fitter, stronger and better equipped pretty much the exact opposite has happened.
True, I have acquired a rather nice (bloody gorgeous) new bike (well its on order and just awaiting the paperwork to be signed off) and I have all the physical equipment I need to get going again with the plan (feet, legs, arms etc) for world domination next year to right the wrongs of not ending up in a bath with a certain lyrca glad hillbilly.
However it was taken me a lot longer than I thought it would to get over the mental side of things. I am really struggling to get my head back in the ‘game’ and kick things off after my first proper break from training / exercise for the best part of 3 years.
When I started originally it was just to get fit and that’s still the intention now – but I seem to have spent the last 6 weeks attempting to systematically bugger up whatever the base fitness I had. You see I seem to have rediscovered my love of food and my ability to create the environment where I eat and eat and eat and eat.
Smarties for breakfast (not the small packets either – the jumbo christmas edition bad boys), yogurts before bed, biscuits and cakes have increasingly sneaked into my diet, beer has made a (un)welcome return.
Because, you know, I failed in Tenby and how did the old Rob deal with failure – he ate himself silly, to the point where he woke up with no energy, where he struggled to get up and get out the door and never trained. I seemed to fall stumbled off my bike in Tenby and into this vicious circle again.
I have told myself that its ok at the moment – I am on a break, its not cheating if you’re on a break – especailly with nothing to measure yourself against, no target – although if you targeted me on cake consumption I would smash all expectations and possibly records.
I have immersed myself into decorating and taken my mind off training by fulfilling the promises I made when I was training and to busy – finally finishing off repairing the wall which I broke when I fell out of the loft, putting up pictures and spending an ungodly amount of time glossing door frames and skirting boards by example.
But you know what.
I have finished the house now and what have I got to show for it? – Apart from a nice looking house.
I will tell you what, an increased waistline and sore hands (paintbrushes after 10hrs of painting at a go, bloody hurt) and still little desire to train.
I used to look at my bike lovingly whenever I didn’t have time to train or it went more than a couple of days unused. Now it’s sat attached to the turbo trainer like an unloved old toy gathering dust. Since Tenby I have used it for precisely 45 minutes, within which time I marvelled at how big my stomach seemed to be in my bib shorts and how uncomfortable it was when I got in the aero position. I sweated a bit but it was gentle stuff and I ticked over listening to the radio and then got off, ate two bowls of cereal and had a yogurt.
Brilliant – nothing like a waste of time and being counter-productive in the extreme.
I have entered events to try and get me motivated again but not even the prospect of a sunrise to sunset challenge in December, a half marathon in January or a marathon in March has gotten me out of the slump, I have keenly looked at triathlons for next year and when entries open, spent an evening with fellow 9bar members who are an inspirational bunch of event winners but alas nothing has sparked me into life.
I have completed a few runs, aiming to stay in a low HR zone and due to the weather and my lack of a GPS running watch I have no idea how far I covered and the subsequent lack of pace. But I wasn’t bothered – in fact it was good as it gave me an excuse for not running hard as at the end of it I knew I wasn’t going to have anything to measure it against.
The triathlon fire which once burnt bright in everything I did now barely flickers in the winter gloom. I feel a million miles away from the person who finished Outlaw in 12:43 and uncomfortably close to the overweight one who finished his first 10k in just under an hr with a camelpak on his back.
Tomorrow is another day and now I have come clean to myself and you lot I can start to rebuild my fitness, shrink my guttage again and move forward – hopefully consistently and decidedly quicker than the pace I am currently at.
I have yet to master the food demons I thought i had banished, I think they might be here to stay