Posted in My training Diary

PART II My cycle up Copperlode-After 4 months off the bike, and 2 months of no exercise.

‘He suddenly appeared. At the front of the pack in first. I was jumping out of my skin with excitement. My little brother, was winning his first ever cross country, and I was screaming my lungs out at the finish line so proud of him.

In year seven, he was four school years below me, just a little tacker, with my blood, racing for his life. I’ll never forget his face. Determination. Grit. Pain. He wanted to win.

The cross country course of Braemar College in Mount Macedon Victoria, was challenging. The weather was always freezing, your toes numb and your nose red and dripping. There were rivers full of icy water, and sticky mud that added weight to ones already water logged running shoes.

The finish line was at the top of a very steep hill. The nail in the coffin for some.

He was almost at the top of the hill, only 50 metres from the finish, when my heart sank as he fell to the ground. Other competitors pushed on past him.

Collapsed from exhaustion, he didn’t get up, and no one appeared to be helping him. So I ran onto the course and lent over him.

“Are you ok? Come on brother. Get up”

“I can’t” …he said amongst tears of disappointment and desperate fatigue. He had run beyond himself, fuelling his legs with pure guts and determination, and now the tank was on empty.

“Yes. You can. Let’s walk. One foot in front of the other”

We walked together, my arm under his armpit, he crossed the line in 11th”

The cycle today started badly. Firstly, I couldn’t find the bike pump…fireworks. Then, once found, I couldn’t get it to work, so I cycled to our meeting point with no air.

Exhausted before I’d even begun, my mind questioned why I had even agreed to such a feat, when I was so unfit. I had a headache, and I felt pretty lousy.

It didn’t get any better. The commencement of the hills really knocked something out of me like never before. I had to stop. I signalled to my brother and pulled over. I was frighteningly close to emptying my stomach contents all over the nature strip. I held my head down. My head began to spin and I was wishing I was on my couch at home.

Hard work? The hardest. This is what it takes. This is what it takes, to get it back. The secret is out. It’s sickening. It’s degrading, it’s not easy. But that’s why it’s worth it. That’s why it works. I want the results.

I got back on the bike and kept the wheels turning. My brother was riding Dads mountain bike, and I was on a racer. He was not struggling like me. As the inclines increased, my heart screamed for mercy. Holy heck. This is a battle I was unprepared for, but that had to be faced. I needed to endure the pain in order to go forward, and painful it was.

As my speed slowed and slowed, I felt a hand on my back. It was the little tacker from year seven, carrying his struggling sister up the hill that was breaking her. He rode one handed, as he pushed me up and encouraged me to keep going. His legs were powerful, his fitness admirable, and he rode with me, throughout my desperation.

So brother, I thank you for helping me to confront myself. For carrying me up the hill, so that I can begin my journey back to fitness. The little boy I helped up the hill so many years ago, is not a little boy anymore. He is a tower of strength and inspiration.

How do I feel now?

Exhausted. Absolutely exhausted, but deeply satisfied.  I have a long, long, way to go…..but the journey has begun.

If you are willing to go outside of comfort, you will reap the rewards. That’s what it takes, but it’s all worth it. XN

Posted in My training Diary

My brother carried me up that gut retching hill.

 I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career.

I’ve lost almost 300 games.

26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.

And that is why I succeed.

~Michael Jordan

My virus has all but disappeared, so the valid excuses have dried up.

I have literally not done a drop of exercise in almost two months. I’ve enjoyed the sleep ins, and I’ve enjoyed the rest, however my rapidly decreasing physical fitness is beginning to have an impact on my body.

I am weaker, and therefore I tire more quickly as the day goes on as I battle to maintain a healthy posture. I have less energy, my concentration span is worse, I don’t sleep as well, my lower back stiffness has returned, and my agility has decreased. I know my body when it is fit, and I want to get back there again.

But How?

When all I want to do is rest after a hard days work, and kids and cleaning and this and that…

Here’s the thing.  There will never be a good time.

There will never be a moment when I feel well enough or refreshed enough to wake up and want to go whilst I’m so out of the routine-So I must just throw myself in and expose myself to the pain, until it gets easier. Until the ‘pain’ is pleasurable once again.

In my mind, I was going to ‘ease into it’- It’s amazing the stories one can tell oneself when trying to avoid a so called ‘out of comfort’ experience.

“I’ll do it tomorrow”

“It’s raining today”

“…but I have to cook dinner”

“When I’m not so tired”

“When my cold goes away”

There is absolutely no easy answer.

It involves making a commitment to go, sticking to it, and working the grind, until it becomes habit-Until it becomes desirable-and it does.

The sweet idea of easing into it again was rapidly annihilated when my brother-an established cyclist, who averages 200k’s/ week-asked me to do a ride up Copperlode today. The ride up to Coperlode Dam, is a fabulous cycle if you want to cycle 17 km’s uphill with no rest. It’s advanced. Not for the faint hearted, and NOT for someone who hasn’t sat on a bike for over 4 months- Or so I kept telling myself. Lots of negative self talk happened I can tell you.

I explained to my brother that it would probably be too much for me. Either he didn’t believe me, or was insistent on me trying, I’m not sure, but he pleaded his case and I relented. Inside, I was seriously concerned that the mountain was going to eat me up and spit me back out-This is what happened.

Stay tuned for part II later tonight.

Posted in My training Diary

Why I stopped Triathlon training, and why I’m starting up again.

July 23, 2015

Many have asked me why I have stopped training for Triathlon. It’s a question I have also asked myself, but the answer, when I think about it, is obvious.

In the last six weeks, I have gone for 1 swim and 1 run. That’s it.

As I watch all my sporting friends around me, jump straight back into training after the Ironman, I wonder why it is, that I haven’t done the same.

Although I only trained for the swim leg, I dedicated myself to training to give myself and my team the best chance. It involved waking up, at 5 am 3 times a week for almost 8 months.

I always threw in the odd cycle and the odd run throughout the week, to assist with my base level of fitness.

image

The training quickly became a pleasurable habit. I would just wake up, and go, without even thinking about it. My body changed. It became stronger. All of my aches and pains had disappeared.

When the big races were all over, I had the unfathomable chance to ‘sleep in’, an opportunity I was not going to miss. However, one  week turned into two and here I am today, having all but stopped completely.

A combination of everyday life events had an influence on my decision to take a break. What I noticed however, is that once the so called addiction of training dissipated, it never came back.

I just couldn’t get back into it mentally, however I am noticing the decline in my health as a result.

Ceasing exercise resulted in a return of my chronic lower back stiffness, my overall stiffness in my body post sleep, decreased energy levels, lowered appetite, decreased muscle strength resulting in posture issues, lowered mood, and a markedly decreased concentration span.

THE BIGGEST CONSEQUENCE OF CEASING TRAINING?

The worst consequence of all, for me, has been the mental battle to get started again….BECAUSE;

The longer you stop, the less you want to do it.

And equally,

The more consistently you train, the MORE you WANT to do it.

Accordingly, it would be fair to say that the ‘level of one’s desire to exercise’ is directly proportional to the amount you actually do.

Clearly, I needed the rest, however I am looking forward to beginnning my road back to fitness, as I have now realised the health benefits to me on a personal level, and finally felt first hand what happens to me when I stop.

Let’s see how we go, one stroke/pedal/step ….at a time.

It’s going to be a long road, but I’m up for the challenge!