Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Highs And The Lows...

The high happened yesterday, the low today. However, I am not going to write about them in that order because I believe in ending on a high positive note. What can I say, 99.8% of the time I'm Little Miss just happened to be the 0.2%.

It started out quite well...I didn't feel like it was going to be a low day, but as the day wore on it was decided today would be a low.

I had grand plans for riding outside today. In fact, I really really really wanted to ride outside today of all days. Why? Because today would have been Tiggers 47th birthday. I wanted so badly to ride outside so I could share the day with Tigger. Instead it was rainy, cold and miserable out so I decided I'd give the trainer a go.

Another problem with this weather - I get headaches from it. I had a doozy of one yesterday, and today it plunked itself behind my forehead and is still nestled there now.

I could feel the heaviness of the day slowly sink down upon me. I tried not to let it happen. I didn't want to be sad today. I tried to think of funny things. I even laughed a few times. It didn't seem to help though. I missed my friend and the fact that today was her birthday really got to me.

I set up my bike up on my trainer at lunch so that when I was finished work I would get changed and go downstairs to the dungeon right away. I thought that maybe that would be the motivation I needed. I did just that. I even got on my bike and pedaled....for about 15 minutes. That was all I could take.

It didn't matter that the picture of Tigger and I crossing the IMC finish line was right there staring at me - I just couldn't dig deep today. So I sat on my yoga mat and started stretching. I had my wee tv, with the rabbit ears, on because I figured maybe that might keep me on the bike. Just as I began stretching they started talking about a book about Randy Pausch - The Last Lecture. If you have never heard of him I urge you to click on the link - it's truly brilliant.

Well, that was all I needed. I broke down in tears - again. I thought this tear thing was gone for the most part, but apparantly not. It had been lurking in the background just waiting for the moment - and that moment was today. So I just let it all go. After a while I sat there and though, 'Well isn't this pathetic'. Then I got up, took a deep breath and went upstairs. I had some errands to run. I kept thinking about a couple things that Randy had spoken of.

So let's talk about the highs now, because that's what we should focus on isn't it?! Yesterday I had two highs to be honest, one occurred in my swimming, the other in my run.

We'll start with the swim, because I did that first. I had two sets of 1000 m to do. I decided I would swim the first 1000 m as a time trial to see how I am doing. I've tweaked my technique a bit and the posture correction has helped me with my strength so I was hoping for a good time.

First off I am proud to report that my meditation practice is paying off for my swimming and I was able to focus the entire 1000 m on my swim and NOT lose count of my laps. YAY! Huge step for Susi.

Second, I stayed under 20 minutes...this took me a few years to get to. My first 1000m swim was around 40 minutes in 2006. My time for this one was 19:55 minutes. It was about 20 seconds slower than last year, so admittedly I was a tad bit bummed about it, but when I reflect on my swim I realize how much stronger I felt. I wasn't bagged at 19:55, which to me means I need to set a new normal, as my friend Keith has so aptly said.

So next time I will push a bit harder and set a new normal for my swim.

My second high came when running. I was excited that I was actually running in the afternoon because during the day I was almost knocked over with a migraine. I willed it away because I really wanted to it went away.

I started out with a 40 minute run at a relatively quick pace (the new norm for running!), then I headed for 'The Hill'. I had a brief thought of dread about doing hill intervals. I caught that negative thought though and rearranged it so I was happy about doing hills because they are going to make me a better triathlete. Or so I hope.

I have run up this darned hill many a time, but never measured how long it was. I looked down at the garmin, checked my time and the starting point and began my ascent. I gotta be honest, it wasn't pretty. I pulled my mantra 'faster, stronger, better' out of my hat to get me up the hill. I remembered that it usually gets easier, although why this is I know not.

I ran for three minutes of up....that got me to the top, which turned out to be 0.5 km from the bottom. Phew! I slowly ran down the hill, turned around and did it again. Then I did it again. So that's 3 hill intervals and with each one I felt stronger. I love it when that happens!!

After the last run, I headed towards home. As some of you may know, I live at the top of a you know why this is called 'the Bonus Hill' because it doesn't matter if I've ridden 180 km, ran for 3 hours or have done hill intervals, I still have to climb the bonus hill. Just before I started the climb I looked down at my Garmin. You know, for the last four years I've run up this hill but have never known how long it was!

I slowly made my way up. This hill is a little less steep than 'The Hill', but I could feel it was longer. When I got to the top I looked at my Garmin and did the math. Well now, the bonus hill is 0.74 km in length! Dang, that IS a bonus hill! I was quite pleased with my training session. Even more when I checked out my average pace and saw it was 6:45 min/km. Not too shappy when you were doing hill intervals as well.

So that is my high and that's the note I'm going to end off on.

Actually, no, there is one more thing. Part of Randy Pausch's lecture is about doing the things that make you happy and making sure you do one happy thing a day. So when I went out to run errands today I bought a chocolate bar and ate it even though I didn't feel I'd 'worked' for it. I gotta tell ya, it was one the best damn chocolate bars I've ever eaten! See, no matter how glum things are, you can always find something to make you happy!

Peace out my lovely friends!


  1. You are making progress. At first, the emotional thunderstorm would have you down for hours. Now it's minutes. Well, maybe many minutes. That's still better. You needed to wallow in it, and let your emotions out and there was lots of emotion so it took a while. The more practice you have at being present, the better you'll be able to deal with it.

    I was on the 20 minute K plateau for a while. Don't rest on the accomplishment. Push to get off of it before it becomes a habit.

    Those hills are tough! You should be happy about the results there.

  2. Sometimes, it's the little things that make you happy. Mine is skipping swim today so I can do some blog catchup and lift some weights;)

    Whenever I get a migraine, I have to force myself to go workout and for that brief time when my HR is up, my headache subsides. It always comes back but I do get a break from it. I hate it.

  3. Happy to hear about your progress both personal and tri.

    Life is like that--we just try to monitor the depth of highs & lows.

    Bright flowers always brighten my day so moeder gives you permission to buy some/plants included and bill me.Luv

  4. Geesh, Keith!! Excellent words of wisdom!

    You let your emotions play out, and as a result you experienced some highs too. :) :)

    HOLY Bonus hill too!! You are going great guns, Susi!