Sunday, February 27, 2011

And Behind Curtain Number 2 we have....

one long blog entry:)

I am uncertain what to title this post or if i even felt like blogging, but since i had some thoughts in my head, why not write em down. I was encouraged by another blogger buddy to "let it all out," but i had to figure some things out for myself before I did.

This past weekend, and actually since wednesday of last week has been a huge learning experience. Uncomfortable at times, but none the less something i hope to gain strength from in the near and distant future. To back up a bit, I was doing pretty well with my life/work/snow depression/training. Somehow after a roof leak monday that led to nearly 4 hours of raking the roof ( see last post) and my husband ON the roof most the night and in the early morning with his makeshift Pick Axe, we got the leak SORTA under control. I wont go into the science of ice damns, but there is a science to it, which is annoying in and of itself.

So Tuesday I did a nice swim wko, lotsa IM, and it was good but i wasnt dead at all. I do remember in the last sprints that i did think to myself that my legs felt TIRED! You do use your legs kicking HARD When doing 25's and 50's, at least i do. So I got home and had a "snack" more on that later, and went to do my strength work. I was doing awesome, it was by no means a brutal wko, it was good, I was being cautious, I was video taping myself to check my form and doing the 1 leg piston squats with the TRX on the 2nd to last of the set my R quad SEIZED. I have NEVER had that much pain or that feeling of SPASM EVER, well maybe once after my very 1st 40k Time Trial when i seized up and couldnt GET OFF THE BIKE ...but that was different. That was an hour of sustained riding, this was, bodyweight being too much for my Glute and Quad to hold. O.K.

I ignored it, rubbed it, tried to stretch it out, but no go. It was done. I was done. I hobbled up the stairs unable to put weight on it, and then put ice on it afraid i would soon see some streaks of blue or black or something that meant i had really torn the medial quad. Nothing, thankfully. But i sure was scared, mad, afraid, sorta like "this did not just happen?" that was really my thought. I must really have a problem with lunges and squats. But I watched the video. Form was good. No valgus at the knee, etc...what gives?

Fast forward to Friday when i can finally START to go downstairs without maximum assistance of my arms to lift me down. I Can finally sleep thru the night without waking to a cramp on my medial knee ( VMO) when i straighten my knee in my sleep, and i can finally laugh.

What i find interesting and what is my learning experience from this, and i am sure there will be more, sadly, but that I have been working myself into a BALL of Stress. Not just related to all my little tweaky injuries ( which i really dont call injuries, they are more like setbacks) but related to the winter we are having, worrying about aging parents and friends, and just some other little annoying personal things that sorta eat away at you. Sometimes it feels like TOO MUCH. But i know we are all in it, nobody has a life free of stress. IF you dont have kids you have parents or other people you are caring for. It isnt like " Oh you dont have kids, life must be great." Um, yea sorta. And the big thing i have really really been observing and figuring out for myself is surely not "WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME.." bc we all know stuff happens.

But more "WHY AM I REACTING THIS WAY?" meaning to me, why am i having a tizzy and also really really being emotional about some minor setbacks? Why am i crying that i cant ride my bike, inside, in the winter? Why am i crying that i feel like its MY FAULT I Cant do that? And why am I taking this SO Seriously? It's February. I am a PT for God's sake, I know how to lunge and squat.

Coachie Jen hit the nail on the head with that last blog. I sorta thought she would be putting me in the header as the poster child for February breakdowns. And while I cant say i sit there looking at all the Hawaii and Cali blogs feeling inadequate, I know that locally there are people that are travelling to train and people that are on their bikes and TM's for hours on end. In January. And I wonder..." really? I dont need to do that do I?" And so it does seep into you, that wondering if you are behind, feeling like you have to catch up to ??? someone else. Even if you have no idea who that person is. So this past week? After tuesday's little QUAD massacre, We pulled the plug. I actually didnt really have a choice now since i couldnt walk. I also pulled the plug in some FB updates, and even some blogs, sorry folks if I dont comment but i needed an intervention.

And I have thought alot about WHY i was reacting like i have been. I did think it was hormones. I did think maybe i needed to check and see if i was in perimenopause. I really didnt think i was, but at that point what else could make me SO CRAZY and so emotional? I can laugh at it now, but about 3 weeks ago ( the initial Lunge strain to my adductor) I started crying watching Forrest Gump and i dont think i stopped for 2 days. I have had nothing to drink, it wasnt alchohol that was making me depressed, nor was it likely hormones as i got my period a week late but it was there nonetheless.

I was concerned about myself, not in a OMG i am going to hurt myself manner but concerned that there was something amiss that was causing me to get injured doing nothing. So i went to my MD and they checked out a few things to be sure i wasnt anemic, I wasnt overtraining, and that my thyroids and B12 were all ok. I found out that I am normal. ( ha!) and other than my iron being on the low normal side ( which it usually is) I am fine. Nothing in my blood says i should be hurting myself. And I talked to the best support I can think of about my diet. Beth Shutt, and she noted that I am snacking too much and am missing a full "meal" most days at lunch. Kinda funny that i can get as many Kcal as i do, and be missing a main meal! On paper it's obvious, and i wont go into the entire diet but I do eat a lot of greek yogurt, nut butters, fruit, oatmeal, and eggs and granola. But i have not been getting in that MEAT at lunch. And since i drive around for work over the lunch hour its sort of a graze as you go all day long after a breakfast and then by dinner all is fine. But I think that I have been deficient in Kcal over the last 1 mos or more and that likely that didnt help with the issues.

And the crying and emotions ? I chuckled when the MD said " I dont think you are perimenopausal, and being late for one cycle isnt a big deal, so if you keep having mood swings when they DONT coincide with injuries, we will do another blood check but for now i dont think its hormones." Bingo. Isnt a sign of overtraining loss of sense or humor, over emotional response to nothing:) and things like that? And that isnt to say I was overtraining physically I think it is/was hopefully past tense a case of February and mental overtraining:) That is what i am calling it. Bc its true. I didnt have crying spells when i was out running my long run on a 20 deg day, if anything i had fits of joy and laughter, so either i am manic depressive or mentally fried. I am going with curtain number 2 and the mentally needing a break option. Keep your opinion to yourself if it's different :)

So what gives? My Ego is what gives. I have put so much pressure on myself to DO IT ALL RIGHT, and to make 2011 as good as 2010, and to do my first IM and as i told Jen " I AM NOT WALKING THAT MARATHON." saying things like that to myself over and over are really not doing me any favors. Last season was a total joy, but did i plan for that? NO. WAY. Did i think in April 2010 when i lined up for my very first M Dot race in Texas, that i would go on to have a really really successful season? And actually get awards for racing? NO. WAY. But the reality is, if i had still raced like i did last season and NOT gotten awards, would it have been a NON successful season? NO.WAY. I have some of the nicest girls I race with, and now they are my teammates at Gear West. Sure there are some women i dont really care for, but whatever, we dont all have to be friends. And at the end of the day my biggest fan and my best training partner ( Well on the bike for sure, bc that is where you spend most your time!)is my husband, and he loves me no matter what i finish. I know that sounds sappy but its true.

So this weekend has been Operation Remember why you do Tri. And remember what matters, and remember that your EGO has to be a 2nd class citizen bc in my opinion if you are ruled by your ego, and you know, we all have them, even if you dont think you do, you do:) And that made me realize too that I am the one with my swim group that brings the wko, I am the one that leads the lane, calls off the interval times, gets things moving. Heck. I need them ( well there is only like 2 of them, lol) to take the lead here for a bit. Let me be the one who shows up and says " So what's the wko?" Of course my swim wko's are the BEST and i meant that so what i am saying is that I need to go to Masters a few more times ( even tho its a long drive in the opposite direction from my work) the pool is cold and the coach is awesome. I love the fear of not knowing if the wko is easy or hard, and despite that we swim less yards than JH's swims I alwasy leave feeling tired and like i learned something.

So as i sit here having just raked the roof again, and having done no real wko's since tuesday...other than two short swims, no clock, no intervals, nothing....I feel pretty good. The VMO is behaving. I can walk. I dont have too much soreness and i am ready to soft pedal a bit, and hopefully get my Newton's on again this week. But more important is that my mind feels like its in a better place. I have to keep taking the pressure off myself. I cant do that to myself, bc I am afraid that we are going to have more leaks, more snow, and more headaches and i cant let training be my only stress outlet. I have to keep letting myself not be perfect at training. And Lord knows i cant control the melt we are going to have so i am glad Rich has his kayak in the garage, we may need it.

And Yes i GET to go to Tucson in about 4 weeks. In whatever shape I am in I will go to camp and do the best i can do. I am going to the elite camp which scares me, but then i realize that alot of the folks going are also coming from winter climates or have had interruptions to training. Nobody wins camp. ( well Jerome does) And as for races this season? I have signed up for ONE. That is it!!! There is a skeletal plan, but every so often something comes up that makes me alter that plan, the latest being there is a bicycle ride across Co and my good friend lives near Snowmass so we may try to catch part of that since we are not doing the Triple Bypass this year. Who knows. I will figure it out. Just maybe not today. For now i want to dream of this:


Steve said...

Oh dear that was freaking long. I love you Julia, so don't worry about that. :))) #Mwah!! :)

Anonymous said...

Oh Julia I am so glad you put some of your thoughts into a blog post!! Stupid freaking setbacks and all that pressure we put on ourselves along with all other life junk has a tendency to depress most of us. Hang in there and just do what you can because you LOVE it. :) HUGS!!

Beth said...

I think all of us reading this can identify with the same feelings at some point in our lives! I know you are going to be just fine and look back at Feb later in the year and think "I was worried about what?"! :) Rest up and heal up and just think - spring is almost here!!! :)

Pedergraham said...

Oh, geez, I would say you needed a nice lunch at Lou's but there was anothe big snow dump this weekend and it was like climibing Everest to get over the snowbank to the sidewalks. Hope the injury/cramping gets better and the SUN comes out!!!

Molly said...

Hugs to you for all you are managing at once. It sucks how stress takes itself out on our bodies. Mine does something very different (hormonal) but no less harmful. Glad you have identified it and have a plan of attack for your sanity!!!

Running and living said...

I remember reading Jen's post and feeling like I could not relate. I never compare myself with other bloggers or feel like I have to work out as much, or in the same way. Maybe my beginner status helps, or the fact that I have no dreams of Kona, or being the best in my AG, etc, I don't know, but I never leave a blog feeling pressure to do more or be different. I run and do triathlons bc I love them, bc I love to be fit, and also because I want to test myself mentally when things get hard in a race.

I am glad you managed to put things in perspective. It's been a hard winter and the lack of sunshine gets the best of us. It's almost March, pretty soon we will be riding outdoors and we'll all feel better! Hang in there:)

Angela and David said...

You know I can relate to all of this. I am really scared for how I will ever survive a Minnesota if this is what it does to you, a Minnesotan!

Hopefully soon enough we can complain together. In the interim I think it's great that you are analyzing why you are reacting the way you are. Sometimes things are just too much. It's healthy to just take a step back and say, "really, what's going on and what do I really care about."

cheryl said...

Sending a big hug your way! All the challenges just make you a better stronger person.

JV said...

I am right there with you. I even eat the exact same foods. Greek yogurt, yep four tubs per week for the house. Eggs, three dozen per week. Granola, check.
I have been an emotional/stressed out case this month! I going to get my bloodwork done now that you mention it. I have had the prescription in my purse for about 7 months!
Hang in there. I think you will find 2011 will be great.

ADC said...

Gosh, Julia, both you and Jen lats week really nailed it. Remember you are not alone in this. I am a real worrier. I worry about everything and my job is stressful 99% of the time. And then when I can't train I get more stressed about that. Shaun and I were talking about this the other day - how we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves when we can't do our workouts. I mean, we do it to ourselves.
Februaries are always hard...after long winter you just want that sunshine and yes, you are reading about all the training that people in warmer climate are doing and it gets to you.
Thanks for sharing this. Maybe I'll se you in Tucson?

TriGirl Kate O said...

So sorry I missed your call! Sending hugs. xo

Jenn said...

Yes-that is ONE long blog entry but quite an interesting read:) "Real" thoughts....very relatable.

Thankyou for the advice with my thigh. Lots of ice and I ended up taking a couple of days off. It was worse than I thought initially but seems to be fine now.

Hope you continue to feel better both physically and mentally ad time goes on here! Almost done with this horsecrap weather!

Betsy said...

This winter has freakin sucked! I don't care how positive you normally are in life I think it's got us all at our breaking point and makes the little things that we usually roll with bring us to our knees. I've felt that way too.

And on that note....there may be an answer to the question you left me on my blog I just can't tell you quite yet :)

Ange said...

I'm learning so much from you. I think you are right on and so smart to just step back and have operation 'why do I tri.'
I am so sorry about your Quad!!! Ouch!
We are way way too hard on ourselves. You're an amazing athlete and after this winter breaks, you're going to just Pop with energy. I think Tucson will do it. I wish I could see you guys out there again.
stay strong Julia.

Heidi Austin said...

sending positive and WARM thoughts your way... not dealing with the cold but im getting fried with seeing 20 plus patients a day, juggling half IM training, and trying to be a wife. I get so jealous when i see people in these cush office jobs and travelling to do all this training. spring is so close! you are strong and i know YOU will have an aweosme season ! sorry for the spelling..

Kim said...

Oh man Julia, I am just reading this and I can certainly identify with what you are saying> It's dang tough to read blog after blog about San Diego and know that A. I am just never going to get a chance to live or train in that type of climate and B. I'm stuck here inside in front of my heater or on my trainer day in day out. I can totally relate. I do worry, I do wonder if I'm behind, I do feel lost sometimes and worried that this year won't be as good as last year.. but just hang in there.. unplug if it helps, sometimes I do that! Just BE.. I do hope the leg feels better! Keep us posted! AND ENJOY Camp! You're going to have a blast!

Charisa said...

Hang in there!! Life throws lots at us. Don't worry what everyone else does - it only matters what you do in training. Do what makes you happy and you will race well and be strong :)

Teresa said...

Your honesty is appreciated and life is tough and you are working thoughout it in a magical way. Glad the knee is getting better and that you are figuring it all out. You will just keep getting better and better :)


Melissa said...

Ok, tried to get totally caught up and read your last 2 blogs. Well, MOST of the one before your last one. The one where it all fell apart. I have had similar experiences (emotionally) over not getting in the workouts. I hear you. It's hard. That's all I'm going to say. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I also run a business and that in it'self is enough stress sometimes to thwart all of my good workout intentions. Hope things are going well now!

Rebecca DeWire said...

I read this blog last week and had a few comments, but didn't get a chance to write them until now. First off, this whole idea of raking a roof sounds ridiculous! That is insane and no fun. And secondly, what you are going through training wise reminds me of how I felt training for my first IM. I ran Boston in April, did a half IM in May, and then did nothing the rest of the year but train for IMFL in Nov. That was a horrible mistake to not schedule any races and have all of my training focus for months on end be on IMFL. It wasn't healthy for me and I was having a psychological breakdown. One of my mentor's saw I was having a hard time and basically told me that this is supposed to be fun so take a break for a little bit. I took some downtime for 3 wks and came back more hungry than ever and had a great race.

Libby said...

oh girl. happy to see the evolution of your thoughts there. sounds like you are doing better with it all and figured some things out about where you are at emotionally and mentally right now. hang in there. I know when I was up north I swore I had SAD. I would get so depressed and out of hand in the winter. I bet the nice weather that is so close to hitting you guys in just a few weeks will make everything better too!