Doing what others won't is hard.
Epically, frustratingly and irritatingly hard.
I want to tell you that training for this half ironman is the best decision ever. And that I always hop on my bike or lace up my shoes with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. Most of the time I do enjoy the training, but sometimes my heart just isn't in it. Or my calves, or my quads or my patootie! Yes, sometimes my butt is just plain sore from biking.
This week has been such an off week for me. I've done the work, but thats the problem. It has felt like work. It hasn't been fun. I've felt slow. Like a big piece of lead attempting to move through sludge.
I can't tell why exactly. I'm cleaning up my act eating, and that usually gives me loads of energy. Graduate school is ramping up, which is stressful for sure - but usually when the stress mounts I can't wait to blow off some steam on the road. Honestly, I'm starting to worry. I'm worried without enthusiasm it is going to be really hard to complete all the training, in turn making this half-IronMan a terrible experience. Running a marathon unprepared was about one of the worst things I've ever done - don't need to face 70.3 miles unprepared. I'm also just worried about this general sense of lethargy and flatness I've been feeling lately. I don't feel truly depressed - I just don't feel completely present. It's unnerving and annoying.
Today's bike was hands down the worst.
Don't let that smile fool you. I was in no way excited to bike in the rain. I am glad that I still got myself out there. It should have been an easy ride - 40 minutes + 8 minutes hard. The first time I ever did that I held better times than I did today. Last week I did the 40 minutes at a 3:12 minute per mile average and the 12 minutes below 3min miles. Today I was lucky to get to 3:20. Period. I can't tell if I was just sucking or if I am being too hard on myself - because it was pretty windy. And after listening to the weather report, it turns out it was windier than I expected. But still. The ride felt terrible too. I was having trouble breathing and I didn't feel the connection to the pedal that I've been thriving off of lately.
So I went home and tried to shake it off. I tried to focus on school work and my plans to head to run club later tonight. I put on my brightest colors and headed out the door:
It's only kind of working. I feel like a poser sporting this sweatshirt when my measly 48 minute ride was such a disaster. But you can't run loops of negativity in your head. Well you can, but I don't suggest it!
So when my computer decided it didn't want to watch lecture either; read: wouldn't continue to the next slide!!! I decided to take a daring step.
I tried on clothes for Gasparilla ideas!!
Yep, still sporting my running shoes. Don't worry, I won't next weekend : ) Went with the belt, but no dress. I have plenty of those at home. The reason this was daring is because at this point it is a bit risky. Trying on clothes can either make me really happy or really depressed. Because I am a girl and I fall right into that stereotype of girls who hate their bodies when trying on clothes. Nothing ever looks the way I want it to! Ever.
I know, you don't come here for this downer bs. Welp, I'm sorry. Someone told me something last weekend that has stuck with me this week:
"You are always smiling and happy and cheerful. You are always here for us, answering our questions and helping us out. It's ok to be grumpy or down or not into something. You are human too."
And that is just it. I wonder if the reason this slump is feeling extra worse is because I'm putting so much pressure on myself not to be in a slump. It isn't realistic to be happy all the time. Or excited. Or cheerful. I can't smile every second of every day. Sometimes things aren't going well and sometimes I don't feel fine. Obviously I know this, but it is extra sucky when you have these negative feelings during your "outlets" (aka working out/training!!!).
For now I'm going to keep focusing on what is going well. I'm rocking my treatment plans/goals. I have some good ideas stewing in regards to a thesis. I'm kicking this 24 Day Challenge's butt! I have people can reach out to. (I just haven't - fail).
I need to be patient with myself and send some love my way. I'm doing so well considering the enormity of the life I've created for myself -- who moves so fricken far away, puts themselves through a rigourous and emotional graduate school program and trains for the hardest athletic endeavor of their life ALL AT THE SAME TIME. Of course I am lonely sometimes. And of course I struggle. I've never done any of this before, how could I possibly expect myself to love all of it all of the time?
This is sad but I have tears in my eyes as I write this. It wasn't until just now that I realized I was even feeling some of these feelings. I really work so hard to try and keep myself together. But maybe I don't need to "be together" all the time. This adventure is the hardest one I've ever endeavored to complete.
And I'm going to keep on keeping on, so that tomorrow I can do what I couldn't today.