Sunday, August 31, 2008


Warning: this post contains even more self-absorbed navel-gazing than usual

Yesterday Noddie and I were at the finish of the Hill Ride O’Doom to cheer in Secret Sara when we ran into a fellow Cool Runner, the charming M, and his lovely girlfriend. I find M intimidating, which is stupid, and unfair since he has never been anything but encouraging to me - in fact, I wouldn’t have the running goals I do if he and his friends hadn’t been so nice to me when I started. When he remarked that he thought I was supposed to have been riding I didn’t know what to say. Sick again? Not in it because my doctor told me I wasn’t to? It all sounded so lame, so ‘excuses’, so again she’s not doing something she said she would because of some pathetic made-up reason. It sounded like that to me. I hated the words coming out of my mouth, and what these two people I admire must be thinking of me (of course, it's highly unlikely they were thinking anything of the kind!!) The feeling of wimping out, and in particular letting Sara down, had been plaguing me all day. My mind was going in circles.
I shouldn’t have got sick.
There must have been something I could have done that would have prevented it.
Maybe if I just do some little exercise thing each day this infection won’t be such a train crash
I could have had a crack at it.
I’m a piker. I don’t try hard enough. I let people down
I shouldn’t have got sick.
Please note that no-one other than myself said any of these things to me! Stop it, me!
By mid-afternoon, Sara safely cheered across the line – Sara my friend, you are a LEGEND!!!! – I was getting myself really worked up. Confused, tired, sorry for herself LBTEPA needed a good snuggle in the logic blanket to feel better.
Here’s the talk we had. I have left out the ‘yes, buts’ as they were many and I am sure you can imagine them.
FACT: a dodgy thyroid, however well-managed, and recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome, mean my immune system is not 100%. It may never be (although I'm working on it). This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. It needs to be managed.
FACT: Noddie started kinder this year and as children do, has brought home every germ going around. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. It needs to be managed.
FACT: My doctor forbade me from training to target the Hill Ride of Doom. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. The last time I disobeyed medical advice went badly. Lesson learnt.
FACT: My ‘A’ event for the winter is the Bay in a Day. Consistent training will get me around. Gung-ho heroics like attempting a gruelling 110km while on antibiotics are counterproductive. This is not an ‘excuse’. It is reality. Suck it up.
FACT: I feel as though I let Sara down. She doesn’t think so. Suck it up. Move on.
FACT: Blaming myself and feeling ashamed for getting sick is predicated on two faulty premises: I am completely in control of everything that happens to me; and everything is about me. ENOUGH. LET IT GO.
I found these conclusions comforting.

Today Minerva and I went out for a bit of a spin that turned into a brain-shaking slog-fest straight into a howling headwind. Think 17km/hr in the small ring on the downhills. Ack. After 25km – about 20km after it first crossed my mind to pack it in, by the way - I cracked like a nut and took the first right-hand turn just to get away from the wind noise. The new road was nice, rolling uphills and zoomy curving downhills, but by the time I got to Whittlesea I was tired and it was starting to spit. You will be so proud of me: I thought, I could ride home, but I’ve done enough for today. I want to run tomorrow. That’s enough.
I found a warm coffee shop with nice magazines and rang the Spousal Unit to pick me up - right in the middle of prayers at church (ooops). He and Noddie drove out to meet me and we had a nice lunch together.

My friend Mary is doing her second Ironman as we speak, and I start my new job, my new career tomorrow.

More anon, strivers

13 much-appreciated comments:

IHateToast said...

don't discred that cough. i know it. i still have it. 3 weeks now. joy. everyonehas it and it's bad. hard to exercise if breathing is diff.

now wake up tomorrow singing!

wear cute undies.

kathrynoh said...

I used to blame myself for every injury and sickness that kept me from running or doing what I wanted too. It's hard not to. I think advice like 'listen to your body', while good and sound, can also encourage that mindset - gets you think if you are more in tune with yourself then these things don't happen.

What make me see sense was one day I realised that professional athletes, people with teams of doctors and physios and god knows what else at their disposal, still get sick, still get injured, still miss races (and they have a lot more than personal honor riding on it).

Of course we're not going to be 100% for every event we want to do - better to be smart about these things :D

I'm sure you'll be out there doing great things again in no time.

MizFit said...

Im new here.
I think I HEARTeth your navel gazing!
Im all for letting go.

easier said than done huh?


Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

i'm glad you talked some sense into yourself. :-)

Wes said...

Being smart is NAWT pathetic :-) Welcome Noddie to her temporary career as a Germ Factory!! Have a great day... today?? at your new post!! LOL!!! {hugs}

MorseyRuns said...

Mate you know that I didn't feel let down for one single second- I felt bad for you because you had motivated me to ride and tackle the crazy Mountains of Doom and then you couldn't join in on the "fun". Anyone that does these events and participates like those two do, understands completely how easy it is to push yourself to a bad place physically just so you can save face for no real reason. (You made the right decision and DNS stands for Did Nothing Stupid- that is what they keep telling me!)

Sue said...

I know it's hard, but the logic blanket speaks the truth - get well first, or you will get worse again.

Jenny said...

Very impressive how you confronted your wrong thinking and righted yourself - it's very Cognitive Behavioral!

Anonymous said...

You know you did the smart thing ..... but I also know what it is like to 'pike out' on something - and I go thru a similar thought process - trying to justify it to myself.

But as you said - the aim is Around the Bay - so remember that. Therest is just 'fill'.

There is a flattish 100km ride at Shepparton in two weeks if you feel inclined ....

Hope you get better soon - and well done on the ride on Sunday - the wind was soooo strong.

Take care

Anonymous said...

.... and have agreat 'first day' at teh new job :-)

MICHELLE said...

Hey Allison, I wasn't thinking anything of the kind about you making excuses. I was admiring the fact that you had listened to your body and your doctor and done the sensible thing by not riding, even if it killed you not to do it. I was also admiring you fantastic weight loss and everything you have achieved this year. It is a terrible time for long lasting coughs and colds this year, they seem to be lasting weeks instead of please just take care, look after yourself and I will see you at MM. Michelle.

Mary Sunshine said...

Dear LB,

Hold your head up. You don't need to explain a thing about your decision. You are a gifted athlete and motivator all.

I'm so sure it was your energy that kept me moving in the night...

I hope you are feeling completely healed very soon.

forever in your debt,


KLN said...

GOOD LUCK with the new job/career!!!