Anyway - that's by the by. I'm not the only person who's ever had to sit out an event, and it's happened to me before - I'll get over it. But here's what gets my goat. Many people have said to me, when they found out I was ill, that I was ill because "I do so much exercise". In their eyes, I think, I wear myself out and "overdo" it. My initial reaction at these comments is intense irritation and anger and I throw it back at them - I like exercising, I like training and anyway - I know a large amount of people (most of you) who train harder than I do and dedicate more of your lives to your sport than I do. But reflecting on my reaction I realise that it's not really what people say to me that matters as much as what I feel they're attacking. I realise that I get so angry because I feel like they are asking me to cut back on something, often the main thing, that I do in life for my own self-fulfillment and enjoyment. Like many of you, I have a family and friends and a home and personal issues and occasionally a job that put demands on me. All of these are good things and I am lucky to have them, lucky to be wanted and needed in so many different ways. But sometimes I feel pulled in too many different directions. When I'm asked to be somewhere for someone I go, almost without questioning. And the more demands that are placed on me, the less I tend to question whether I should always accede to them, the more I just tend to flip from one to the other. Yes - I find it hard to say no. As far as this chest infection goes - who knows what caused it? Maybe running Boston was tougher than I thought, I was tired afterwards and flew home on a germy plane, I didn't take enough time off before starting up running again. All true. But I can tell you that in the last few weeks I was feeling increasingly overwhelmed by the rest of my life and how tiring that was. I spent very little time exercising precisely because I was doing so much other stuff. And I was beginning to long for a training schedule because I know how dedicated I am to following a schedule and how, when I'm training, I make smarter decisions on which of the demands from the rest of my life I should be responding to. When I'm in training, I know I have limited time for the rest of stuff and so I am focused and directed. So - in contrast to what people say to me - I think that training actually forces me to balance my life. And makes me happy. So as soon as I can, I will get my training head back on.
|can you see one of the sweet things in the rest of my life?|
Where does that leave my summer plans? Well - I'm not sure. I am - so far - committed to two events - the Virgin London triathlon (July 31st) and the Cascade Lakes Relay (August 5-6). I was hoping to start a "proper" 6 week triathlon schedule on Jun 20th. I'm going to have to see how that works out with my health and whether I'm able to do so. I have various triathlon books but was going to follow a combination beginner / intermediate program from - beginner for swimming, intermediate for cycling and running, but if I really need to start up slowly (do I? do I have to?) I will do the beginner program for everything. I mean, let's face it, this race is not going to be impressive in terms of time, given the base I'll be coming from. But I really would like, one way or the other, to do this thing. I was considering doing a sprint triathlon in the run-up to it but I am abandoning that plan so I don't overcommit myself. As for the relay - Jen and Zach who have so sweetly invited me onto their team have also reassured me that the point of the relay is the fun, not the time - so no-one is expecting anything lightning-fast from me in Oregon either. The pressure is off.
So bear with me as I grumble my way through my convalescence - do you think I could at least do a 30 minute yoga video? - and soon, I hope, I will be joining you out on the road again.