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