Back by popular demand… (well by the request of a few loyal friends anyway)
2013 has been a year of changes and adjustments so far. Both my personal and professional life have changed a lot in a short period of time. I’ll try to be as brief as possible, touch on a few lessons learned and provide a good base for hopefully more regular blogging in the future.
At the end of 2012 the company I work for was bought out by one of our competitors. Before the buyout employees knew the company was being purchased but we weren’t allowed to know by whom or how things would change. The announcement at the end of December (right before Christmas) brought the end to some speculation and the start of new concerns. Some of us, including myself, are still not 100% sure how our positions will evolve to adapt to some of the changes that are being made, but assuming my job stays around (and I think that I’ll still have a position, just one that is different from what I was doing previously) I think the change will eventually be for the best. There is still some uncertainty and a lot of changes happening with my job description, but I’ve always tried to believe that everything happens for a reason so I’m going to trust the process. I also know that there is only so much I can do about the whole situation, so I’m trying not to stress about it too much; complaining and worrying are not going to change what’s happening.
Aside from the mental challenges of trying to stay sane when I didn’t know for sure I was going to have a job and I’m still not sure how my job will evolve, I’ve had to completely adjust my schedule. My day is not quite as flexible as it used to be. And I’ve been about 100x busier than I was in the past. Some of the projects keeping me busy would have happened with either employer, but I’ve added a new project to my schedule and have to help in other departments when I’m “available” which now basically keeps me glued to my desk/computer for 8-10 hours a day. After spending that many hours in front of a computer screen, updating my blog has been last on my list of things to do 🙂
I was also semi-sidelined with a back injury. I woke up on Jan 2nd with extreme lower back pain. I spent two days in bed not able to move before I could finally make it to my sports medicine doctor. Long story short – I took a week or so off with no exercise and then slowly added swimming and biking back in when I could (taking two or three breaks in the middle of cycling class to get off and do some exercises for my back). The first time I tried a full cycling class after I hurt my back I couldn’t get off the bike and stand up straight! I’m still not sure exactly what I did to hurt it, but Dr. Jeff, Zeus and I have been working on getting me back on track. I’ve been doing back and core exercises and have finally started adding running back in to the mix.
So where does all of this leave me today… Busy! I know everyone says it, but until you experience it, you really don’t get it (at least I didn’t). Ironman training is a whole new ballgame, people! I’m still 8 1/2 months out so I’m no where near peak training and already I’ve learned a lot about myself, my training, my health and what it’s like to have a jam-packed schedule. I trained for my half-Ironman race last year so I thought I kind of knew what to expect but either I’m blocking out last year’s training or so many other things in my life have changed that it’s impossible to compare the two seasons. (And actually it’s probably a combination of both). I got to work (later than usual) at 9:00 a few days ago and realized that I’d already been up and worked out and taken care of stuff at home for 4 hours before I even “started” my day. I still have the benefit of working from home so I don’t have to look presentable when I get home from the gym and have to start work. Very helpful! I’m also learning to multi-task at work (squats at my desk while I’m on hold or on the phone with a co-worker) 🙂
I’m also really starting to “be one with my body”. (I really can’t come up with a less cheesy way to say that at the moment). When I was running once or twice a week what I was eating and how much I was sleeping really didn’t appear to affect my runs all that much. I’m learning that what I eat, even days prior to a workout, how much I’m sleeping, and even “what time of the month” it is have a huge impact on each workout. My hormones and monthly cycle may actually have the greatest impact on my training right now – and poor Zeus hears all about it 🙂 But I’m starting to realize how integral everything is to the eventual success I will have on race day, and the daily success or failure of each workout, so I am working very hard to get everything in order.
I talked with my doctor during my annual exam about my overall health and hormone issues. We are trying a few new things to minimize the roller-coaster my body seems to go through each month. I am working hard to get enough sleep. Right now I am getting up at 5:00 every morning, which means starting to think about bed around 8, and getting in bed around 8:30 or 9. I’m usually asleep by 9:30. Once our open water swim classes start I will probably be getting up at 4:00 or even a little earlier, which means trying to be asleep by at least 9. I’ve also decided it was important to really start paying attention to my nutrition. I’ve found that if I spend a few hours on Sunday preparing food for the week, I’m much more apt to eat regularly and avoid take-out during the week. My Sunday ritual is becoming a habit I enjoy, but I know I still need to work on focusing on eating enough, eating at the right times, and eating a balance of carbs and proteins.
My daily diet is something I knew I wouldn’t be able to tackle on my own. Zeus and I have worked on it a little bit by trying to count calories to make sure I was getting enough to fuel my workouts, but not over-doing it either and just talking about some of the struggles I have with my diet in general. I finally took the plunge this week and went back to the nutritionist I was working with a few years ago. And since it’s time to get to work I’ll leave you all wondering about my plans for tackling my diet struggles!
I will actually try and do another post tonight because there’s a lot to talk about with diet and nutrition. But now that I’ve done the “catch you up on my life” post, hopefully I can try and get to blogging more often. (I’m using my rest day morning to write this morning).
Overall life is pretty great right now. I sometimes complain about the terrible run I had or the cycling class where my legs literally wouldn’t move but I get in bed every night kind of excited to do it all over again the next morning. Work is busy and challenging but I think overall I’m happier at work than I’ve been in the recent past. My workouts are also challenging and I’m trying to enjoy the process, and focus on the improvements and good workouts instead of how far I feel I still need to go and the workouts that make me not love running. I’m learning some important lessons about taking care of my body and taking steps to learn even more. I’m learning how to be busy and multi-task. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think I would change a thing! And most importantly, I’m blessed to have friends who want to hear how my training is going, support and encourage what I’m doing (and understand the night’s when I’m in bed at 7:30 or 8:00 to catch up on some sleep)!! I’m excited for the journey and have no doubt that I will be learning a lot about my eating habits in the weeks and months to come. (And I’ll do my best to keep everyone updated on a more regular basis. Thanks for pushing me to do more blogging…)