A big sigh of relief…

Phew.  After a hugely busy start to September, with events each of the first three weekends, last weekend was like a big sigh of relief.

This is what a peaceful “job done” type of sigh looks like to me…

Initially I thought I’d do the Hever Triathlon on Sunday September 26th, followed by Barcelona on October 17th, just because my fitness is so good that I thought another tri or two would be fun.  But much as I hate to admit that I just can’t do everything, I decided to give them both a miss.  I wasn’t feeling it.  I know that another multisport event, lining up at the start, would just be too much.  And, I just wanted to sleep.

Around Wednesday last week my friend Nozomi sent me a message via Twitter asking if I was ok.  She said my tweets sounded tired.  She told me to take a break.

And you know what?  Friends are often right, seeing what you can’t see, even if they can’t actually see you…

Last week I felt waves of fatigue.  I often get this after a “big event”, and I guess my 5k swim was the trigger.  But rather than work through the exhaustion which is what I often do, I decided to relax into it and just let it happen

So, this weekend, I slept in until about 8.30 in the morning.  For the first time in ages.  I didn’t race out the door to hit my training sessions.  Instead, I took my time, slowly waking up, cooking breakfast at home, and simply relaxing in London for the first time in what seems to be ages.

Actually, all of last week was a bit of a relax and refocus, turning my attention to all those other things happening in life other than my training and fitness.  Yes, there are other things!

September 21st marked the official start of autumn.  It is crazy how much earlier darkness is falling.  And as someone really impacted by light (or the lack of) I need to keep my focus on the positive aspects of autumn and winter.  Like my birthday.  I love birthdays, and this year I reach the big 4-0.  I guest blogged last week on EatingJourney about my own philosophy when it comes to birthdays.  I love Michelle’s blog – the way she puts herself out there sharing her struggles and thoughts – so was really happy to help her to celebrate her birthday with a guest post.

Last week was CMT Awareness Week in the US.  CMT, or Charcot Marie Tooth disease, is the most common neuromuscular disease impacing 1 in 2500 people, including me.  I have been focusing my fundraising on the CMT Association’s STAR initiative in search for a cure for CMT1A.  And I used my tweet stream last week to try to raise awareness about CMT.  I shared a bit about doing triathlon to manage my CMT on Kelly’s TriMommy blog as a part of her Wonderful You Wednesday series.  And, although I haven’t listened to this week’s episode yet, I left an intro voicemail which included a little bit on the CMT Association on one of my favourite “go-to” podcasts, RunRun Live .

I also started to think about what the rest of my year and 2011 will look like, sports-wise.  I signed up for the Egmond 10.5k run , in January, in The Netherlands.  The act of signing up for a race will give my training a focus.  I need to do a lot of work with my running, so a run race was the obvious choice.  And I received an invitation to the British Triathlon paratriathlon day in October, which I plan to attend and hopefully get some closure on my paratriathlon status and assessment.

I continued with my doctors appointments, as the “end of the season” presents a great opportunity to do a health check and tune up.  I had another follow-up session on Wednesday with the specialist orthotics and physiotherapy team at the National Hospital for Neurology.  I have a new set of orthotics heading my way, which will be another big adjustment.  Casted following my session at the biomechanical laboratory, this will be a whole new approach – a lot more intense – for my feet.  I hope this helps to address the ongoing foot pain and alignment issues I am having.  I will blog about the appointment once I get the video and still footage from my lab appointment on September 10th.  I have a physiotherapy appointment at the start of October.  I ventured back to the intra-muscular stimulation practitioner today.  And, in short, I am really looking forward to addressing some things in the autumn and winter. 

With the big sigh I breathed last week, it seemed natural to prioritise my yoga sessions.  I started going to yoga again after the London Triathlon, for the first time since dislocating my elbow in 2007.  It is not easy, especially since I used to be able to do much more than I can now.  But it feels great, taking the time to focus, breathe, and work on the small things.  Yoga is so good for core strength and stability, especially with the smaller muscles around the feet and ankles (which for those of us with CMT are lost due to muscle atrophy).  I can feel the yoga training in ways that I can’t after running, swimming or cycling.  And I’m enjoying it.  So, we’ve added one yoga set a week to my training plan, which is great.

I also continued to focus on getting my nutrition dialled back in after holiday.  I’ve added Green Vibrance to my morning routine, to make sure I am getting my greens as I often find myself craving vegetables.

Looks green, tastes green, kind of like grass…

I’ve really been enjoying the cooking and I’ve been eating in a very balanced way as a result.  I’m still focusing on getting protein and greens in at every meal.  And although my weight is about 1.5kg higher than my post London Triathlon weight, it is slowly dropping back to my pre-race level, which is great (and an added bonus of eating right).

And I’ve been doing bricks.  Of the mortar variety (not the double training sessions!)

What lies beneath is some really old brick…

At home we have started building works.  After spending 3 years seeking permission to build an extension on our Grade 2 listed house (built in 1726) we are finally starting.  It seems surreal.  I resist going out and looking at things (I don’t want to see the house of horrors unfold), but at the same time it is fascinating.  I’m doing my best to focus on the now – not to become overwhelmed with the future works in store, or what the snags and hassles will be.  And when I keep it in this perspective, it is all very exciting.

Finally, I am close to relaunching my website.  As much as I have loved MyFitnessYear, it has been with me for 2 years.  Thanks to the creativity of my friends Ron and Josie, I have a new domain.  I am working with a great site designer, Ryan, and Pascq has done a set of illustrations for the site.  I am really looking forward to the change, and to easier content management.

So a big sigh.  Time to relax and sleep.  Time to refocus and get things in order for the coming months.

The challenge?  Staying positive and full of energy as the cold and dark months descend on Britain.  But, hey – that’s what cashmere and Ugg boots are for, right?

One response to “A big sigh of relief…”

  1. This resonates very strongly with me. it reminds me how much I need to go back to yoga. I miss it. It is a while before I hit my end of season but I feel the need for refocus and to take a look at what 2011 will be. I look forward to the new website.

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