I suffer from anxiety. It’s the kind of anxiety that affects my day to day activities and quickly leads to the kind of depression makes me want to stay in bed and never leave my house, ignore phone calls, ignore emails, ignore the mail piling up in the box. I started taking daily medication when I was 22 and attending the Culinary Institute of America. My body became a science project testing and adjusting to different drug treatments for the next 10+ years. Though it’s not a solution for everyone, running helped me release my anxieties and give up my dependance on the meds.
I was taught early in life that your reputation is the most important thing you have. If you do anything to damage your reputation, you’ll never recover. Worrying about what people are going to think, was normal. If you weren’t concerned, you weren’t protecting your reputation. Needless to say, these impossible standards are the perfect way to set yourself up for the inevitable, failure. After 25 years of therapy, I’ve never been able to detach myself from these notions.
For one reason or another, my anxiety levels were off the charts this week. I had to fight all the negative thoughts in my head, every single day, just to get out of bed. I had 85 reasons why I should give myself a break and not complete each day’s workout and only 1 reason to convince me otherwise. Ultimately, the only reason I was able to get up and lace up was because I knew, if I didn’t, I would feel even worse. I might not hit my goal pace but if I give up before I start, I will be filled with regret.
I committed to a 14 day meal plan led by local nutritionist and runner, Laura Peifer. I wanted to push myself to prepare and eat a solid three meals each day. One of my biggest nutrition challenges is remembering to eat breakfast and then lunch. Often my day gets so crazy, I forget to eat anything until 1PM and then I’m so freaking hungry I eat whatever is in front of me…it might be a salad but it’s probably a doughnut. The 14 day plan is low carb, low fat, no added sugar. Before this week, I thought my diet was healthier than average. I never drink sodas and I don’t eat nearly as much cake as Brad. The first two days on the plan were so difficult that Brad and I both went to bed an hour early because we just couldn’t cope. I felt like I had the flu…cold sweats and all…detoxing from the sugar. On Monday night, I ate an entire cucumber, fist fulls of walnuts and a bucket of grapes but nothing could satisfy my need for a baguette and a chocolate chip cookie. On Friday night, we ordered pizza for the kids while we ate grilled chicken and broccoli slaw. It was tragic.
After the initial shock to my system, the meal plan has left me feeling more stable with less highs and lows throughout the day. I can understand why eating breakfast everyday is important. It’s also nice having the whole week planned out so we can avoid the ‘what’s for dinner’ conversations that normally take up at least an hour each day.
Unfortunately week 1 of the meal plan lined up with a peak week in my training plan, something I wasn’t prepared for. I didn’t know it was a peak in the training as I was working through it, all I knew is that it was really fucking hard. As soon as I made it through one tough workout, I headed straight into the next one. When I thought my legs couldn’t handle one more step or one more rotation of the pedals, my arms took a beating in the pool. By Saturday, I could barely pick myself up off the sofa. Then, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel…next week’s plan…a recovery week! I realized I just fought my way through an intense training week with no sugar or beer to reward myself and I survived.
Weekly Training Log
Weekly Training Log
Sunday: BIKE 1:15 with 4x4@90%, 3x1@90%, 1@100%, 1@105%
This workout shattered me. It was the longest I’ve been on a bike since my accident and I fought hard for 105% which, WTF? 105% .How is it possible? I found out how and it sucked.
Late lunch at the Barrow House…biscuits & gravy with a side of IPAs.
Monday: SWIM 1200 with 16x25 fast, 200s, 12x25 fast
PT: Single leg squats ALL. DAY.
Rice bowls with chicken, cucumber and tomatoes.
Tuesday: RUN: 3x1K
Overall, much more consistent than the last time I completed this workout a couple weeks ago.
Turkey meatballs with spaghetti squash made in the crockpot for dinner.
Wednesday: SWIM: 1700 with 6x 100s, 25k 50s, 200 fast
BIKE: 45:00 with 8x1 @ 100%, 1 easy…this is one of those workouts that doesn’t seem too bad at first glance and then those 1:00 easys seem to get shorter and shorter!
Roasted Chicken with sweet potatoes and broccoli for dinner.
Thursday: RUN 45:00 with 3x5 @ tempo - my legs were shattered after yesterday’s swim & bike. I almost quit before I started but I managed to struggle through at a faster than normal, slower than tempo pace.
Turkey Tacos in lettuce wraps for dinner.
Friday: SWIM 1400 with 100s, 200p, 4x50d . This was considered a ‘recovery’ swim. I would never put those two words together. All the swims are a struggle.
SWIM Part 2: Friday family swim at the Y with all 4 kiddos. 1 hour spent floating on a pool noodle. Chlorination saturation complete.
Brad and I ate grilled chicken with broccoli slaw while the kids demolished a pizza :-(
Saturday: RUN 60:00 with Lizzy, Necole and Liz before the big Fueled by Doughnuts meet up. Brad and I have to tag in and out with the kids so we can both get a run in. I was on the early run shift, late kid shift.
Hawaiian salmon with pineapple, roasted red peppers and brown rice for dinner.