Article by Leah Anstis
I’m not sure how many weeks it’s been since I last wrote you but woweee I’ve been up to all sorts! Sometime in May I resigned from my job and was fortunate enough to be put on leave for 5 glorious weeks. I knew it was going to be the perfect opportunity to think about all the chores I should be doing and then put them off for another day. But more important than endless days of procrastination... training. I could use this time off to make myself into a self-proclaimed full time athlete.
When I am working, I’m in a very low stress profession. I look at drawings of people’s new kitchens and throw some numbers at it. But still, the daily routine is enough to be a contributing factor to daily stress levels and quickly my desire to do anything at the end of the day vanishes faster than the sun in the middle of winter. It took a few days to unwind once I finished work, but once I did I was away laughing. Having the freedom to choose when to train, having the ability to take time to look after myself to a higher level, and time to actually enjoy the process has been a wonderful euphoric experience.
Quickly scanning back over Training Peaks... I basically nailed 5 weeks of daily training with maybe 2-3 days rest total. Day after day I could get up, drop Archer off to daycare when it suited us and head off to train. I’m yet to have the conversation with James... but how does that happen? Why was there no fatigue? I felt invincible, strong and amazing. I was thrust into 70-80 km weeks and didn’t bat an eyelid. Such a great feeling!
The Lactic Turkey 17k Double Rainbow was my only wee jaunt onto the race circuit during this second training block, and it was a ‘training’ run, which meant it fell at the end of another solid week. It was a stunning day, perfect conditions, but 4 km in I was keen to pull the pin. Purely mental, nothing was actually wrong, I was just tired and my legs weren’t feeling full of life. By 7 km I was at the base of the mountain and Archer was there telling me and everyone else to ‘go faster and more quickly!’ So up I went. I finish the race 3rd female, 10th over all and around 10 min faster than a two years ago. I would have liked to have gone a bit faster but a couple days prior to the race I had finally started to feel the first inklings of fatigue, so promptly pull the pin on the session, placed myself in my Homer Simpson-esk couch mound I’d been working so hard on and spent the day resting. The days after the race I was sore and tired which meant I managed the best way I saw fit with the training and let myself recover. I feel like I’ve been doing this stuff long enough now that I am in tune with my body. I know the repercussions of ignoring the signs and I know when I’m just being lazy. Side note... I fully believe it’s OK occasionally to just be lazy, it’s not just your body that grows tired. You are allowed to just not want to train some days!
Now... I’ve been working for the last 2 weeks and it’s basically been a full 180. I knew some of the feel goods would disappear and make space for that old foe stress. Suddenly I’m back to needing to train either silly early in the cold and dark mornings ... or after work in the cold and dark evenings, bloody Winter GRRR I find it daunting to see that my weekends are loaded up with higher volume. I’ve enjoyed everything being spaced out over the week. I’ve lost the freedom of no routine. The stress of needing to rely on others to help mind Archer or just the need to juggle him in general is taxing on us both actually. There have been some massive emotions explode from both of us since I’ve started back at work. That’s been super hard. There is nothing else that can make my heart hurt like that boy.
I got a friendly reminder text from James to get myself back on track training wise this week... which was met with a raft of feelings. Initially a smidge of shock because I thought I flew under the radar a bit (turns out big brother is always watching), followed by an angry ‘f*** you James’ (just muttered not actually sent in a reply) and then finally some acceptance that yeah I had been a bit slack but I actually had a pretty good list of legitimate reasons why the week was a bit of a mess. I’ve followed the plan this week as prescribed but it’s not been the same enjoyable process that it was when I was off. That’s OK though, that’s a discussion for James and I to have when we embark on my next block coming up.
So reflecting on my latest 8 week block, I think I made the most of my time off, I got some sweet gains and stuck to the personal goals I set myself a few months back. I spent more time eating right and was rewarded with more energy and clarity. I’ve also expanded my social scene by starting up my Whitford Joggers Group again. Its so inspiring to see 10+ similarly minded friends turn up on Sunday mornings to hang out in the forest with me! I really have nothing negative to report, just that I don’t really know how to deal with a 2.5 year old getting SO enraged with me for opening his chip packet before he sat down. I shut him outside ... I welcome nominations for Mum-of-the Year.
What I hope the next few months bring, is some enjoyment back around biking. My best adventures have been on the bike and I miss them! I want to start to build up some speed for my half marathon in September, and I want to continue to make the time to plan meals and eat well because I’ve seen the flow on and it sweeeet. Lets see how this juggling act goes!
Article by Leah Anstis