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Not a great start to the day. Got up with every intention of going for a run, thought about routes last night, and decided on something medium distance and not too taxing. When I woke I felt OK, but as I got ready I could feel my mind starting to play tricks. 

By the time I got to the door to run, I could hear light rain, and was ready to call it. I'm fine getting caught I the rain, but starting a run in the rain has always been hard for me to do. None the less, off I went for my warm up. A few mins in, I can see the rain drops on my clothes and am already starting to put a downer on it... "I'm gonna get soaked", "I will get ill", "what if I slip and hurt myself".... Bollox! 

Time to run. As soon as I got going, the thoughts changed to how short a route I could do, maybe just a few km's, regular 5k loop at best, being flat and simple. A mile in, having taken a different turn to force myself away from escape, and I am wondering am I going too fast, the audio prompt comes and its OK, I'm a little hit faster than planned but ok for this stage. But still I can't get doubt out of my head. 

At this point I decided to give myself no choice, the answer was simple, go a way I am not familiar with, then I have to focus on other things rather than being on a route I know and having time with my thoughts. Next route split time, I need to go somewhere new, I choose left, and its straight towards a busy bus stop. Damnit, I just need to get past.

As I reach the bus stop, people are being phone zombies or plain selfish and standing all across the pavement, don't worry I will run in the road. As I pass I am over thinking and over reacting, I just need to get to the next corner and it's done with. I start thinking further up the route, a distraction from the negative thoughts I am having. Where do I go next, visualise the route, the next mile or two, where will they be? 

OK, mile 3 clicks around, the pace is good, HR is steady and more importantly, my brain is calming down. My thoughts are sensible again now, not hanging on to doubts, I am a few miles in, I'm feeling good, and now I know I'm good for a bit longer. Out towards Beckenham, up what is quite a steep hill for me, pace is good, taking it easy, and into the park for some clean air and a moment of serenity. 

On the back straight, heading back towards home, starting to feel accomplished, and feeling a more familiar sense of achievement now. But a little premature maybe, I'm still 2.5 miles from home, and now the temp is starting to drop and the wind is picking up too, brrrr. Under dressed a little today maybe. 

As I reached Catford, I carried on visualising the rest of the route I was going to take, and looked forward to getting home, back to the warmth. 

The last mile now, and I'm in a nice rhythm, not worrying about the pace, in fact from the last audio prompt I'm pretty happy with the pace all things considered. Reaching the finish point, as usual my picky mind perked up and insisted that I finish the run where I started, so that's another half mile to tag on the end of the run. Starting to feel it by this point, having done a 34 mile ride yesterday with hills and efforts, today's run was meant to be short and sweet. But the mind needs taming at times, so let's play along. 

Finally the end, 7.4 miles done, feeling mentally relaxed and physically exhausted. Not to a point of discomfort, but I had definitely burnt off any excess energy I had.

 I have often referred to how beneficial exercise is, especially for some people. Being able to turn off the mind for a bit, or at least distract it enough to calm down and get back to normal. Almost like a small child having a tantrum, distracted for a moment by a toy, et voilà, all is well again. In simple terms, that's how my mind can be at times. It's far from that simple, and some of the time it takes far more than a run or ride to make things well again. 

But days like today remind me how delicate the balance is. And that sometimes I am not even aware of the drama going on inside the grey matter, not unti I feel better again. It was a little way into the run I realised I wasn't in a great place. And I kid you not, I spent about 15 mins thinking what I would name today's run on Strava. Over thinking at its finest.  Eventually I went with "Over thinking, over whelming - overcome", as those were the 3 stages of state of mind during the hour and 15 mins of the run. 

So there, that's my head cleared out of today's fun, hopefully I can sleep tonight now, and not dwell for too long on what has been a mentally tiring day. 

Night all, thanks for reading. 

 

With so much going on in the world recently, and a somewhat intense 2020 so far, it is easy to lose track of oneself. Usually self help checks keep me on my game, but with time taken on other more pressing matters than my own well-being, it has been a time where I have let things slip. And now I am left wondering just how much has slipped by un-noticed. 

At the start of the year, after getting my head back out of the sand from Xmas and all that comes with that, we moved straight on to the first event of the year being the trip to Svalbard. As I am sure most are aware, Ann (my better half) suffered a somewhat catastrophic accident in the first few days there, resulting in an airlift, a trip to the hospital, emergency flights home, and being operated on and hospitalised within days of arrival back in the UK. The road to recovery is long, and the first month or so of that was very intense. So naturally, and completely unbegrudgingly, I got stuck in, and focused on her recovery.

At the same time, my chest had been bad prior to the trip to Svalbard, so I had not been cycling to work as usual, but instead driving. So on my return to work, and keen to spend as much time at home caring for Ann, I chose to continue to drive to and from work. I have to say by this point I was getting a bit lazy anyway, so it was a great excuse. 

Now cycling for me has always been a good escape, a chance to think, burn calories, and breaaaathe!! So three months in to the year and no cycling, well that's not good!

Mid to late March, and Covid-19 became a reality, so in a last minute rush, a work from home scheme was set up, so commuting on the bike became unnecessary, so even less opportunity or inclination to ride a bike. It's not going well at all. Needless to say, we all know how things went from there. UK lockdown, restrictions on activity and being outdoors, as well as an extra nudge from my wonderful introvert mind, and that was me done with going out.

A few attempts have been made along the way. In March just before lockdown I managed one single ride on the new bike in Richmond with Jason, then that was me done with outdoors. So, onto the trainer, and for a few weeks I got stuck in with Zwift, then a few things happened and interest started to fade again. Next up, running. By this point I am more than aware I am gaining weight, eating crap and not doing enough activity to balance not only my mind, but also my body. More weight piling on, and less and less inclination to do anything about it. 

Now here we are in early June. More weight gained, all efforts and activities have completely ceased now, my interest is near rock bottom, but my frustration is through the roof. Once again fat, a noticeable change in my resting heart rate, I feel heavy and slow, and a huge part of me is struggling to get back on my feet. But that tiny powerful little part of my mind won't let me. Am I making excuses, and I getting too old for this "get fit" shit? 

I will go with the former for the majority of it, it's just in my head, and I am just making excuses. Sure, I was going to give P90X another go, but by week 4 I was struggling with recovery, starting to skip sessions or part of, and really fighting to find the willpower to push through the discomfort. Partially because I know previously discomfort has led to long term pain, not something I want to repeat right now, especially with restrictions on physical treatments. 

Sleep is suffering, falling asleep in pain and discomfort, and waking the same way, day after day. It's not how I like living my life, and I am desperate for a change. But without the motivation, and willpower to drive me, I am at a total loss on how to do this. In the past it has been a challenge to myself, prove something great, and achieve something greater. Right now it just seems like too much effort for not enough reward, and my mind just shuts me down as soon as I start thinking about it. 

I don't want greatness, I don't want the bulk of the past, I just want to be healthier, and feel it both mentally and physically. 

Deep inside, I know my lack of cycling is not helping at all, in fact it is one of the huge contributors towards how I am feeling right now. But with a "bottom of the pile" feeling, similar to how I felt on the first couple of days of London to Amsterdam, there is bugger all motivating me to get on a bike right now. Sure I have the trainer, but in this case it's just not the same. I need physical exhaustion to help settle me, but I need air and freedom too. But outside, isn't where I want to be right now, and people are my kryptonite. So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. All that bulk I have put on probably isn't helping me struggle my fat arse free!

So as I sit here late at night, after an evening of watching Titan Games, making me want to try harder, and overcome my negativity, and watching dream bike builds, hoping to inspire my love and desire to get back on my bike, I am left feeling a little lost.

Am I spiralling here, am I off back down the rabbit hole? Or am I simply just over thinking everything, living in fear of depression, dragged down by all the negativity around at the moment, and just fighting to find my footing. I have the mental power to break free of this, I have done it before, I can do it again. But before I can push, I need to know what I am fighting, who is my enemy here exactly? 

I want to believe, that it is just a serious bout of self doubt, and that I just need to sort my shit out. Overcoming self doubt just needs one good hard push in the right direction, however I have no plan, so no direction at the moment. I have a home gym, I have road bikes, a gravel bike, running shoes. I am literally out of excuses, yet somehow keep finding them.

What I need is a plan, and a good one. Structure, direction, a vague goal, and motivation to keep me going so I can achieve what I want and need to. So now what? What do I do? How do I do this?

I am totally at a loss, and struggling.....Something needs to change!