Good to be at the back of the pack again

Over the past two months I have kind of fallen into disrepair.  I told myself that since I couldn’t run I would just swim and bike.  Then when biking hurt as well, I decided to just swim for a month.  I like to swim.

But 5 days a week swimming in the same pool, the same lane, the same people, the same pool water…?  It left me waterlogged, itchy from the chlorine and ready to just give up and go back to the couch where I seemed destined.  I admire people that can swim every day like that.  I do.  But when the guards start to call you by your first name when you come in (and you know them by name as well) AND people just move to another lane because they know this one is “yours”… It was like some weird twist of Cheers.  I was Norm, only I was a Walrus, not a mailman.  And I had a swim lane, not a stool.

And, honestly, I gave up a little.  I was frustrated, angry, feeling old, depressed.  And it showed.  I quit going to the pool.  I couldn’t do anything else, so I just sat.  But I kept eating like I was working out.  And I fell off the wagon too.  This had an all too predictable result.  I put on 20 pounds in 3 months.  None of my clothes fit anymore.  And, there for a while, I really didn’t care.

The event season started.  I watched 3 events I have done for the last 4 years go by.  Not only did I not participate, I didn’t even look.  I volunteered for one, but that didn’t help either.  I was in real danger of just walking away from it all.  I really wanted to.  I even stopped going to the gym with my son.  He kind of lost interest and without that push, the weakness just took me.  If he asked, I would go.  But otherwise I was done.  Granted, with me, weightlifting is offseason work anyway, but it felt like the last thing on the list.

Now, all of this might sound like misery and woe… and I guess it is.  But we have all been there.  Hurt, frustrated, down… failing.  And maybe it was all actually worth it (except those 20 lb…) because over the last 2 weeks my knees just… stopped… hurting.  Granted they are still a little tender and I need to get up and move around every half hour or so or I seize up like a rusty machine, but they don’t hurt DURING exercise anymore.  I went to a couple of Thursday night rides… ran more than once a week… (still no swimming though), then I ran twice in one week (last week).  Then I went back out on Saturday for a long run.  First 5, then 6, then almost 8 miles.  Still slow (remember those 20 lb?), but not in pain.  So Saturday I ran 7.5, then 3 on Sunday, then 4 yesterday and 6.5 this morning.  I’m tired (remember those 20 lb?) but I’m OK.  I’m even going to attempt to ride tonight.  That will be my first two a day workout since January.  I fully plan on suffering and getting dropped.  But as long as my knees don’t hurt, my pride will be fine.

Even though I know I need to be careful and go slow.  I think it’s time to “go” again.  I haven’t written off the season yet.  I may not compete until the fall, but I’m looking at Kirksville and then Branson for triathlons and then I will see what the fall season brings from there.  For now, it’s time to lose that same 20 pounds… again.  And then get back to trying to lose the 20lb I was trying to lose to begin with.  I’ve got a lot of work to do.

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