Tuesday, 5 August 2008

The Hissy Fit...

When I was a wee lass and would get ticked at something I would, the odd time, blow a hissy fit. As per my Father's description it went something like this...

First off, my lower lip would stick out then roll under in a very pronounced pout. Then a foot would stomp. Then the other foot would stomp. The pace of the stomping would slowly increase. If the hissy fit was directed at my ever patient father I would then yell 'ADDY!'. Yes, minus the 'D'. He would be unable to contain his laughter at this sight so then would start laughing. This would not amuse me in the least. He said my legs would then take on the characteristic of pistons firing very quickly. No wonder I had fully developed quads, hamstrings and calves as a kid!

As an adult, I admit, there are times when I have to concentrate very hard in order to restrain my foot from stomping. It's sad, yet rather amusing at the same time. My lip will even quiver as I restrain it too. If you ever see this happen you can choose to do one of two things. One, run away as it's possible you are about to see five foot two of fury. Two, stay and agitate me a bit more and see what kind of Lord of the Dance stomping show I put on. Then run away!

So why do I bring up my childhood history? Well, the other day I was ready to blow a hissy fit. I know, I know - so sad.

Here's the situation... I feel like I just got off the couch and can't ride anymore. Mentally, I know this to be false. Emotionally though? That's another story.

It's amazing the havoc that occurs post-Ironman! I've been out for a few rides now, but I just can't get into the groove yet. I wasn't troubled about that fact the first four weeks - I was in recovery mode. For some reason now though, I expect to be magically back to that place where I was. Alas, I am not.

I keep asking myself 'how the heck do people do IMCDA, then IMC??!!' Of course I know the answer, years of training to get to that level!

This weekend I rode for a total of 165 km in two days. In my mind, compared to the 429 km in three days I did in May, this weekends ride was piddly. Both days it was all hills and, therefore, a ton of climbing. I made it through Saturday's ride fairly well, although I was pretty slow towards the end. Sunday's ride was a lot tougher for me. One reason was my timer to tell me when to take in nutrition konked out, so I didn't get enough fuel in me. The other reason? Well, that I don't know. Still reovering? Back to the beginning?

Normally I slay the Lochend route. It is one of my favourite routes because it's challenging and gorgeous and this year I made some huge progress on it - so to feel like I couldn't ride it well was a bit of a downer.

Fear not though! I am a smart cookie and I realize that this can happen to an athlete. Especially one such as I, who is still pretty much a rookie to the Ironman distance. Last year it took me over six months to recover and my entire system was a mess. A rather scary mess.

This year I give thanks that I have the fitness I do. Granted, I'm not back up to snuff yet. That's ok! I will keep reminding myself about how many people out there can't even go for a nice ride along the river!! Just the fact that I can ride 165 km in one weekend is a very cool thing, especially when I'm only six weeks out of IMCDA.

I'm big enough to admit, too, that I almost had the hissy fit...but quickly realized how lucky I am to have my health and fitness. Therefore, I didn't. Had I done so though, it would have been a great leg workout!

Because I didn't do the hissy fit leg workout, I decided to hit the gym. Although my legs had some fatigue in them I decided to add some weights to the bar when I did squats. Not too much, just a 10lb plate on each side. I like these plates. They are skinny, but the diameter is quite long so they LOOK like I'm lifting a ton of weight. Hey, as long as you look good right?!

On my second set my legs were asking me to please stop as we did mucho hills on the weekend. Oh how I remember the days when I could squat 135 lbs for three sets of 15! I got through the three sets, then did three sets of step ups. I gave my legs a break though and skipped the lunges.

I did some upper body work that will hopefully strengthen my shoulders for swimming. Which reminds me, I really should get back in the pool some time soon! I'll look after that after my trip to Penticton where I can savour the feel of lake water rushing over me. I can't wait!

While at the gym, I got to show a fellow gym rat an exercise, which was kind of cool. I noticed he was doing chest and abs so showed him the old pushup/side plank move. Here's the drill. Get yourself a couple of free weights - not too heavy. Get into push up position with your hands on the weights, rather than the floor. Do a push up, then with one arm swing the weight out while turning into side plank. Your finishing pose will be a side plank with arm outstretched to the ceiling holding the free weight. It's a terrific exercise.

The fellow thanked me as he'd hurt his ribs a while back and thought this would be better for him to stretch things out. Gotta love it when you act on an instinct and end up helping someone out!

So a good leg workout, and no hissy fit. I will use this time as a way to learn patience, which the Universe is constantly trying to get me to master. I think this weekend I'll just go out for a wee ride around Grand Valley / Horse Creek. Things will be back to 'normal' soon enough!!

Peace out my friends!


  1. Dude! I have enough required reading I need a coles notes to get through your posts! Sounds like you are on your way to recovering nicely and getting geared too boot

  2. i just go with the flow of thought...

  3. I know that fit well! I have had it in a race once and training well, a few times. the weights are particurlarly hard for me coming back from IMCDA too. I hate 'em right now..

  4. You are soooo hard on yourself, Susi!! You don't just "recover" for four weeks and then start riding 100+ km every ride you do. You need to work back up to it again...just like you are doing with your weights.

    You said yourself -- about how you worked up to 3 sets of 15, 135lb squats -- apply this same knowledge to the rest of your training --- DON"T EAT THE PASTE!!!!!

    You aren't hopping back into the gym and doing the heaviest weights possible, right? Because you know from your experience, that it is dangerous to do. Same thing with IM training. Scrap the rides -- or go for 30 - 40 minutes at a time. EASY. Hit the pool for sure -- you can hammer it at the pool,and get yourself some fab cardio without sliding backwards in your training. Because believe me -- if you continue to push yourself like this, you are going to consistently slide backward in your performance.

    YOU ARE NOT FULLY RECOVERED! Like I said before, four weeks, doesn't magically mean you are ready for these long bike rides. And, if I recall correctly, you didn't exactly take four weeks off at all -- you went for some doozie bike rides with your friend, Richelle -- remember -- the time you started sneezing or feeling like you were getting sick after?

    Plus you are hitting the gym and taking yoga on top of everything else. It's like you are trying to maintain the same number of hours training as you did during your heaviest IM training period.

    Baby steps. Look back at your training for IMC and IMCDA -- I bet you didn't ride anywhere near as much, at least 4 months into your schedule!

    You are setting unrealistic goals for your performance, and IMHO you are holding yourself back and actually hurting your future performance. Take the time off NOW, when you are supposed to, so you can build up again and keep improving.

    The only demons you have to face now, are the ones within you - I firmly believe you know all of this already. I believe in you -- you are a strong and intelligent woman!

    I love you babe, but if I have to drive back to Cochrane and physically hold you down so you can actually REST, I will -- I may not have a black belt, but I'll frigging hold that foot-stomping fury down!! After all, that's what are friends are for. :) :) :)

    Now go take a nap for crying out loud!!!!!!

  5. julie, i gotta say it...


    i love what you wrote. and fear not, i agree. i will stick to the less than 100 km rides as i slowly work my way back up. i'm doing that with my running, so really i should apply it to my biking too.

    i just was excited to go out riding with my friends. yes it was a bummer to realize i wasn't in peak shape anymore, but i'm totally ok with that now. i just had to let it sink in - hence the almost hissy fit.

    thank you so much for all that you wrote! love ya!

    oh, and i promise to kick your arse if you don't rest after IMC too. k?

  6. You better!! Because I tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over and over until it finally sinks in!! I'm banking on you, my friend! LOL!!!

    :) :) :)

  7. You both are crazy girls. Susi got to the stomping, now I think Julie's at home stomping because of Susi's stomping. I'm gonna soon start that up too if you two don't watch it. I'm also well into my IIS(iritable ironman syndrome) who knows when I'll letter rip. ;)