I have discovered that I am now incapable of dealing with stress without running.
I used to drink a fair bit more. Crazy day/week at work, pop the bourbon, get angry/contemplative/sad/creative drunk, play games/write/design/art something, release some stress, wake up, do it again.
However, in those days, a hangover didn’t feel all that much worse than normal life, being a billion lbs overweight and unhealthy and all. Not really an option nowadays to shuffle through life feeling about 50%. The occasional day, fine. But in my old age, I’ve learned that it’s generally not worth it the next day very often. Also, triathlete training doesn’t leave me much time to feel like that without missing or having subpar training days, and some days, that’s the ONLY thing stopping me from a few stiff drinks or 12 due to stress (and yeah, that’s typically a good thing)
As things got different, I found a healthier outlet for a stressful day – a good run. I am a triathlete, and have equal love for the swim and bike on good days, but there is nothing like a good run to destress in a way that biking and swimming don’t do it. Swimming is great for thinking, processing, having conversations with yourself, and just letting go. Biking sort of keeps me in the moment outdoors (cars, traffic lights, curbs, potholes, hills, nature, etc), and indoors I usually use a movie to distract me. But, a good run… nothin’ like a good run. Some days, a super easy run in the sunshine is what I need. Some days, you just need to take it out on the road and run hard until you’re too tired to be angry or sad and just feel at peace.
But as we know for me, no running this week. None at all. And this was the week from hell. I got through it, but just barely. Let me just recap it quick, and let’s move on. Next week has to has to has to be better.
Chiro-cracker says the knee is getting better with each visit (I’m seeing her twice a week), but this is the point where I’m feeling better-ish and I’m not completely healed where I could do a lot of damage. So, no running as above, and no real biking. I am able to swim easy as much as my knee tolerates, and for 20-30 mins per day, I can get on the trainer with the seat set uber-high so my leg is forced to fully extend, and continue with weights that don’t stress out my knee. Each visit, she’s adjusting me, stretching my knee and massaging it, and doing ultrasound. The ultrasound feels great, but as lovely as a stretch and massage sounds like – it’s not. Pain. Good pain, but PAIN.
It feels at it’s worst after the abuse (the stretching and massaging on Thursday left me soooooore) and after it’s been stationary for a long time (when I wake up, meetings/long days at work, etc). It feels freakin’ awesome after the trainer sessions and being active. I wish the option was to just continue moving all the time but that’s just not possible, so I’ll just continue to move as much as the chiro lets me (30 mins daily on the trainer, doing about 4 days a week swimming, 1-2 days a week of weights) until I can do more. She’s thinking I may get to ride for real this week, and she predicted next week for running but it all depends on how the healing goes. So send happy vibes my way please!
By the day:
Monday: off (recovering from Rookie celebrating)
Tuesday: Swim: Easy Laps with a few pickups 1500 m 00:34
Wednesday: Weights: Upper Body Weights 00:45, Swim: Moar Laps 1200 m 00:27, Bike: Leg Extension 3.75 mi 00:15:00
Thursday: Swim: Rude Morning Pool People 975 m 00:25, Bike: More leg stretching 4 mi 00:15
Friday: off (day from hell at work)
Saturday: Dancing and cheering my ass off for 1.5 hours at the finish line, Bike: Leg Stretch 6.31 mi 00:30, Swim: Slow and Strong 1000 m 00:20
Sunday: Bike: Leg Stretch 8 mi 00:31
So, 4 hours is not exactly a super training week, but it’s what I can do right now, so there it is. Hopefully I can get more in next week. I’m three weeks from Playtri, and hoping I’ll remember what it feels like to run 6 miles, since it’s been about 3 weeks since I’ve ran a step.
I’m just taking the week off really going into this. I’ve eaten relatively healthy and lower calories (estimate – 1550 per day) with a few not-completely-angelic things, but let’s call it definitely in the 80/20 realm. I had a low weight of 177.2 Monday, but the rest of the week it was 179.0-180.8. I have been pretty stressed all week. Perhaps these things are correlated?
With the not-running, knee stuff, work stress, and weight not cooperating, I just got a little blah about the whole thing and didn’t track this weekend or pre-track this week. Giving myself a pass this week and I’ve got a food plan and will pre-track tonight and be back into it tomorrow. This is not to say I’ve been tossing back pizza and burgers or anything, but it feels like unless I’m very, very careful, the weight does not go anywhere. I’m not ready to give up, I just needed a weekend reprieve of counting.
While I’ve had a very meh week, I had a pretty amazing Saturday. It started out rocky – I left work after 11pm, and we had a 6am wakeup to volunteer, but once we got up and out, it was a great morning. Let me tell ya – there is a cure to the blahs, and that cure is dancing and cheering and making a fool of yourself at the finish line welcoming hundreds of puppies and runners to the end of their 5k and trying to make them look happy for pictures. Above is me doing my best “wavy arm man” impression. It was a beautiful morning and definitely made me a billion degrees happier. Never pass up the opportunity to volunteer when it involves puppies and racing at the same time. However, when the national anthem played, my first thought was, “the next time I hear this I better have a fucking timing chip on my ankle”.
We had TWO game nights this week. The first, we played a Savage Worlds campagn (role playing game nerdery) in which we fought werechickens. It was a lot of fun. The second, we played a boardgame called Lords of Waterdeep – I won the first game and didn’t do so well at the second, but that’s ok. Then, around midnight, we started playing Life and holy crap, that game takes forever, and had a ton of pieces I don’t remember using as a kid. We were all happy to retire so we could retire to bed. I really have enjoyed the more games this year!
And, that’s it for last week. Question: have you volunteered at a race? (if you haven’t, you totally should – it’s a great experience and great race karma!)