Shadys Back

I am desperately trying to think of a positive start to this entry but, I can’t.
So the above will have to do.
Truth is, the anxiety seems to be back. I say seems, let’s be honest, it is back. I am managing to use coping techniques quite well but one of the problems it is giving me is trying to keep up with the training for the Stirling Marathon and the Half-Ironman. It’s kind of hard to force myself out the door when all I want to do is curl up in bed and stay there until the next day. Swap a running marathon for a Netflix marathon and the physical Ironman for the Marvel Ironman and that right now is the easier option.

But is that really what I want? Sometimes. 

They say endurance events aren’t achieved on the day but in training. The race itself is your victory lap. Well I tell you, right now, if I make it to that finish line, I will be amazed. 

I watched ‘400 meters’ on Netflix last week. A man diagnosed with MS decides to do a Full Ironman (not a half!) having never done anything like that before. He has several set backs, a father in law that isn’t too dis-similar from my own dad, and a determination to rival Donald Trump. I keep thinking he found the strength to keep going – and again, to do a Full Ironman – what’s stopping me? 

I haven’t ‘lost my mojo’. Genuinely hate that saying. I still love running, miss it if for some insane reason it’s been more than 2 days since we last met. I am very slowly getting more confident on the bike and the swimming isn’t that much of a chore. It’s just my mind. There are less and less ‘happy thoughts’. Thursday took me by surprise. It was bring your child to work day so I had my daughter with me. I thought she would be with me the entire day but I had to drop her off in a room that felt it contained half the population of the human race. She was fine. I was not. It took my greatest strength not to go back in, grab her hand and take her to my desk with me. Literally the only thing stopping me was the embarrassment I would cause her. I spent 20 minutes alone in a room trying to calm down. It worked though. Breathing techniques don’t get the credit they are due. And later that day when a friend of mine came in she presented me with a surprise gift she had made. It was a box frame with photos of me running and ‘Live, Love, RUN’ written on it. The tears turned to happy tears then – and she hadn’t even known it was a bad day!

I had the next Championship race that night and, as the day had been that bad, I asked Joe to pace me. I had asked him a few days earlier, just for something different. I have never really ran with a pacer and he has never paced someone – could have been tragic! On the day though it didn’t really end up being about time but more just about having someone there as a distraction. You never know what ‘could have’ happened and is there any point in thinking about it? Could I have ran just as fast or even faster? I don’t know. What I do know is that it was nice and it worked. I was distracted. It gave me a little more positivity back. And I used the gift my friend had given me as a reminder of me how much better I feel when I am running. So I rocked up to the start line instead of pressing ‘play’ on the next episode of Designated Survivor. (It’s recorded though so it’s ok!).
And so I have decided I need that little something extra to push myself. Something I can focus on when I’m thinking ‘nah, just skip it, back to bed – retreat, retreat, retreat’. I contacted SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and I am now going to try and raise a little money for them by getting to the start line – the finish line will come later. Some of the coping techniques I have been given truly work for me and there are days I wouldn’t be able to do my day job without them. So why not say thank you? 

If it hadn’t been for people like them, the support I have received and discovering running I would still be locked away in my house, rarely leaving, unlikely to still be holding down a job, and not being an ‘ok’ mum. (I won’t claim to be the best mother in the world, I forgot it was my eldest last ever day at school yesterday!).  

This post may not have started very positive but it’s my nod to my issues to say ‘yeah, you’re still there, you might still knock me down, but I CAN get back up’.

(How bad will it be if I don’t manage this now? Ha ha).

The link for my fundraising –

I got issues man

What on earth is going on?!? 

First it was a tight muscle in my back, then a pain in my chest by old issues being dragged up, and now it’s ‘women’s issues’ I thought had gone! Don’t worry, I won’t go in to detail.

Until the beginning of this week I could still run, limited because of child care but I could still get out.  Then Tuesday came and BAM – no more running.  My body is on strike!  I’ve literally fallen out with my body, with myself.  How do you fall out with yourself?!?!? 

I haven’t changed my diet, eaten anything new, done anything different so seriously – what’s your problem?  I took my youngest to soft play yesterday to meet up with a friend (part of my healthy mind plan and to tell my anxiety to do one) but at times was almost walking doubled over.  

I was sooooo glad when he napped later!

I’ve got 14 miles to run to hit my 100 for the month.  It’s not going to happen.  I’ve ran a grand total of 6.4miles this week so far.  It’s bloody hard admitting I won’t hit that target this month! But, I will still hit my 1000 miles for the year. Got to remember bigger picture.

This morning I tried some strength and core work.  Clearly I am the thickest person IN the world! Let’s do core work when your core is in bits, awesome idea!  Honestly.  I actually managed my best set of pull ups yet which I am ecstatic with – however – I then spent over half an hour in the bathroom and I’m now on the couch with pain killers, peppermint tea and a hot water bottle.  

My next race is a week yesterday.  This better be gone by then.  It’s a fast paced 5 miles and one Im really looking forward to.  

I leave you with a little D:Ream ‘Things, can only get better’.

Ha ha ha ha ha

Looking back, looking forward

My dad x
In this last week my anxiety reared its ugly head in true T-Rex dinosaur style forcing me to throw my hands up and give in.  Not a fan of ‘cure by tablets’ I managed to convince my doctor to let me try and kick it through exercise and working out what’s triggered it. 

So that’s was this is – a look back.

A lot has happened, and all at once.  Difficult to know where to start.  There’s the niggle in my back and the thing with my pelvis which I’m told could cause me problems later on. I’m worried about our daughter going up to secondary school.  She has problems with reading and directions and I panic she gets lost.  Our smallest dog woke up in the middle of night shaking in pain and after a trip to the emergency vet we were told if the injection didn’t work there wasn’t anything they could do.  How do I explain that to the kids? 

Then, most importantly, there’s my dad.  We were told he needed a double heart pass and as we waited he seemed to be getting worse and worse.  I looked on it logically – a serious operation he had to have or he wouldn’t be here much longer but one that was carried out on a regular basis.  So yes very worrying but marginally small risk.  How I handle it in my head.  

It’s the knock on effect of this that has let the dinosaur loose.  My lovely mother (she’s not just my mum she is my lovely mother), is the only support we have with the children.  My dad has them for an hour or 2 if I’m desperate for a run – obviously not recently or in the near future – and my brother would be able to have them in an emergency but he works long hours and has a social life that beats the kardashians.  Point being he’s there if need be.  But that’s it, that’s all we have.  My mum has our youngest so I can work and she won’t be able to have him with my dad being in hospital and then for a period after.  She’ll be looking after my dad and doesn’t need a toddler round her ankles.  My work is very accommodating – god damn stressful and getting to me right now but can not fault my boss’s approach to things like this.  We came up with a schedule that would work for both.  This makes me feel even worse about being signed off right now.  So if it’s been organised with work why did it come back?  Well, figuring out when I could work and juggling everything over the month reminded me of what we don’t have.  It’s difficult to write without going in to detail but it gets to me.  It was the same when our youngest broke his leg, it was my mum only who was there.  So things haven’t, and aren’t going to change.  

My lovely mum x

We have an event coming up very soon also and it’s a cold, harsh reminder of the situation.  My husband is doing Tough Mudder with his brother – they are racing – and I begged and begged my brother to do it with me (much to my parents delight).  There’s now a high chance my mum won’t be able to look after the kids therefore one of us can’t do it.  It’s an expensive event so that’s a lot of money wasted and bearing in mind emergency vets fees aren’t cheap it’s a slap in the face.  My husband has been talking about beating his brother in this race for a while.  If I don’t go my brother has no one else to do it with.  It’s hitting me hard right now because I use exercise and pushing myself like this to keep my anxiety at bay.  Irony in its finest form. 

I could go on but in a nutshell that’s it.  If I keep thinking about it all my chest is never going to loosen up and the doctor will insist on putting me back on tablets.  My dad had the operation yesterday and this morning we have been told everything looks ok and so far no complications.  They kept him sedated all night and are bringing him round now.  I will get to see him tonight.

I have devised a stretching and yoga plan which I am sticking to.  My husband and I now have a training board up so we can each fit in what we need to do.  I’ve met with my running coach and I’m taking the first steps towards my next marathon with his help.  The dog is ‘OK’.  It’s a case of wait and see.  She’s had to have another lot of pain killers. 

This post will very quickly be followed up with another – and it WILL be positive.  As I’ve said before it wouldn’t be a genuine blog if I wasn’t honest about the downs.  I’m determined to overcome this with exercise and not drugs.  I know it works, it has worked.  Everyone has set backs, but I’m going to use it as something to learn from.