Monday, October 11, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I am absolutely deconditioned.
And, it's not just my body, but my mind too.
I am supposed to be decondtioned, that was the goal. A good long hard break from training. I needed to step away and stop the grind for a while. I struggled a little bit at first, but then I began enjoying the time off.
I didn't stop thinking about things. I have to admit, I thought about the sport a lot. I have a plan for this upcoming season that is a little different. I am excited and ready for what's coming next.
More on That later.

Back to the present.

I will not lie. I have had a hard morning.

It's Monday, th start of week 4. You see, I just took 3 weeks off. Ok. There were a few short easy runs sprinkled in over the last week. And, a few comical attempts at "yoga" and "pilates" that resulted in this uncoordinated athlete just dropping onto the floor for sit ups and planks.

Today's workout called for a swim. Yay! If you read my blog regularly, you know I love swimming. It's my safe place. My athletic life started in the pool. Swimming is easy for me and it feels great. It feels great to work hard in the pool and it feels great to swim easy for recovery.

However! Because I live in rural Maine and my town doesn't understand how valuable a swimming pool would be (yes, you are sensing a "tone" in my voice)to the community, I am forced to drive 40 minutes to swim. Deep breath.

I am used to it and I am absolutely able to get into the routine that is necessary to fit in my swims.

The alarm goes off at 4:33. I get up, don my sweats, grab my coffee, pick up my pre-packed swim bag, hop in the car, and I'm off. I listen to a strange talk radio station that discusses the possibility of life outside our universe (I'm serious) and then at 4:59 the local radio station morning show comes on and I switch to that. I drink my coffee, always finishing at a certain point in the ride, eat a Luna bar if my workout is long and hard, and just enjoy a quiet ride while the rest of the world is sleeping. I'm home by 7 a.m. so my husband can drive off to work and I am left feeling pretty damn happy that I'm way ahead of the world with a strong swim in the books.

Not today.
Last night, I packed my bag. I wrote my workout on my index card and put it in the baggie. Mark offered to let me swim during the day because he is taking part of the day off. (Columbus day..and we are going to our camp to close up...there's a pool nearby. ) I hurried to the computer to check the schedule. Closed Oct 9-11th. Darn. I really do need to set that alarm.
Deep breath.
It's been a while since I've had to get up at 4:33.

I went to bed way too late. I didn't mean to. But, it just happened. I'm out of practice. I had things to do. I wanted to read this and that. Next thing I knew, it was 10:23. That leaves only a bit more than 6 hrs. Not enough.
Deep breath.

I couldn't sleep. I got up to use the bathroom and by accident, I saw the clock. 10:57. Shoot. Now, it's less than 6 hrs.

It could have been just a short night that made me tired. But I wasn't that lucky. You see, I am sometimes brain smashing migraines. One thing that bothers me the most, is that they come on During the night. For no apparent reason. I wake up with someone pounding a hammer on my head. What gives? I was awake on and off feeling HOT! I was sweating and just miserable. The room was chilly. It was freezing last night and my windows were open. So, who knows. I was sick to my stomach too. Would I have to get up? Not a good night. It's been happening for years and a while ago, I was given a nice strong prescription that sometimes helps. The problem is, it messes with me. I can't adequately describe what the drug does to me but let's just say, it's best when I can take it and go back to bed. At 3:00 a.m. last night, I took some. It was that bad.

4:33. Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

deep breath. I stumbled around my room searching for my little pile of clothes. I do it automatically. Just like it was yesterday. But then, I kicked the laundry basket which banged into the table which made a picture fall. ooops. Sorry hun. I'm out of practice.
Worst of all. The headache was still there.

I kissed Mark goodbye and stumbled away. I poured my coffee, grabbed the bag, and headed out.
To be on time, I'm supposed to be out of the house by 4:45.
It was 4:49. I don't know what I did. I was just slow.

My ride was unpleasant. The car was all foggy on the inside of the windows and the defrost wouldn't work. The coffee tasted gross. My head was throbbing. The lights on the other cars were blinding me and aggravating me so much I almost pulled over.
Oh, there's more but I'll spare you.

Let's just say it wasn't the best re-entry into training.

I arrived at the pool, late, but I was there. The few people who were there commented on my absence and I think they also wondered what the heck I was talking about when I said, "off season this and off season that..."

Finally. The water.

I stretched and felt tight. I felt thick in my bathing suit.

Just dive in Ange.
And so I did.

Ahhhhhhhhh.... There we go. My happy place. My safe place.
The water.
It was quiet. It was cool.
I swam back and forth and back and forth trying to find my stroke.
My arms loosened up and my head relaxed.
Before I knew it, no pain.
Just me and the water.
The sound of the splashes soothed me.
I was back.

An hour later I hopped out and drove home. My head is still pounding and I want nothing more than to crawl back under the covers. But, that doesn't happen at my house. The kids are off today and they are all staggering downstairs one by one as I type. I'll take my hot shower, pour more coffe, and open training peaks to log my first workout for the next season.

It wasn't easy today. But I did it.


Mary IronMatron said...

Oh boy... if there is ONE thing I really really don't miss it's that early wake up call, and you have to get up even earlier than me--in the 4's! That's truly horrible...
I'm glad it felt good, though, once you got there! Yay!
Here's to the new season!--or year? or whatever it is!

Ewa said...

You did it ant that's what counts.
I am having one of those mornings today, I think too. I have a run scheduled and I know I have to leave now because we are in the middle of heat wave so it is now or not at all.
Just a couple more blogs to read and off I go, I hope.f

cheryl said...

I don't know how you can swim with a migraine. The last thing I can do with one is get in the pool and have my eyes boinging from right to bottom to left to bottom, and depriving those precious brain cells of oxygen . For me , the headache becomes 10times worse. You are a tough woman! I would have stayed in bed. Hope your re-entry goes well :-)

Kim said...

woohoo day #1 and you did it! i am in awe that you got up that early to get your first workout done. i will NEVER see 4am - EVER! yay for 2011 training season!

Angela and David said...

Nice job just getting yourself to the pool. Getting there is often the hardest part.

I wish swimming had that kind of effect on me. If you've got that kind of strength to get your first workout in (because it would certainly be easy to convince yourself it's okay to extend the off season one more day), you should have an incredibly season.

Jennifer Harrison said...

YAY! Getting up that early and having a rough morning at the same time is so tough! Hope your headaches are better! Here's to a new and exciting season FOR SURE!

Luke said...

Foudn you blog today through a mis-click but I enjoyed reading it.

Glad you had a good first workout of the season, although it sounds funny to me becasue I just ended mine Sunday.

Happy training, I look forward to following it.

Marisa said...

Ugh, migraine. Hope you're feeling better!

tri like mary said...

What an inspirational post. One of the pools that I have access to (we have alot of pools in my city) is literally a 3 minute drive from my house and I sometimes have a hard time getting there during the week for 5:30. I will remember this the next time that happens. I get migraines too and they SUCK!

TriGirl Kate O said...

I am so not looking forward to the early morning wake up calls. We also don't have a pre-programmed coffee maker (we use a french press), so there is no option but to spend 5-7 mins making the coffee. Can't function w/ out it.


Caratunk Girl said...

Way to get out there, that is awesome - I have to start getting up in the 4's again and is so tough at first, and then you get into the rhythm. The darkness is what is tough for me at that early hour..