Sunday, 3 February 2013

Losses and Gains

I've been dealing with a loss. I hadn't realised exactly, but after a conversation earlier this week it occurred to me that I "lost" the marathon, and without me knowing, it had really knocked my confidence. With a gammy knee it seemed it was taking ages to get my trainers back on again. Sick of the frustration of not being able to run and sick of the silly weather that makes cycling not fun and/or unsafe, I made a sudden decision to jack in triathlon for the time being and focus on other things.

I've been trying to gain strength in weightlifting - specifically power-lifting - for ages. I've dabbled for the last couple of years but endurance sport and power lifting are enormously incompatible. One heavy squat  session will ruin my cycling/running legs for days and long runs or rides will prevent good, heavy lifts. When you try to be good at lots of different things you inevitably end up being mediocre at all of them!

In just a few weeks of dropping off the cardio training, the strength gains have been pretty impressive. What else has been impressive is the scarily quick gain in size of the glutes and thighs (which friend, hardcore strength trainer and big chicken eating buddy, Chris, had warned me about but I didn't believe him). On failing to squeeze into my skinny jeans I started to wonder if giving up endurance sport was a good idea.

Granted, the post-Christmas diet has not helped the giant arse scenario. The January eating regime did not have a healthy focus and even though I have given up wheat and dairy, I've been hunting out all the treats I can find that I'm 'allowed' to eat. Combine all that with a couple of holidays and plenty of wine-drinking, and what we have is a very unhealthy Egg. All in all, despite gaining the ability to pick up, push and swing around heavier stuff than I ever have done before, I realised I'd lost all the "going healthy" fire in the belly.

On Thursday I decided to go and attempt the tri club running session. To my utter surprise, it went well. My legs were a bit heavy and my heart rate was sky high, but I did it, and I absolutely loved it. Full of enthusiasm, I went straight into my kettlebell class all jacked up on endorphins and felt turbo-charged for the whole session. I felt a bit of the old Egg re-emerging as I competed with people without them knowing about it and I finished the evening feeling entirely different. It never ceases to amaze me what a positive impact a good dose of hard exercise can have on your state of mind!

Since then I have been all over the clean eating again, getting creative in the kitchen and using healthy alternatives to make delicious meals. That one, really great feeling has reminded me how good it's possible to feel all the time!

I don't know what I'm going to do this year. Maybe I'll get running again, maybe I'll do a triathlon or maybe I will continue to focus on the weights. Maybe I will just enjoy being fit and healthy and do whatever I feel like doing that is active and fun at the time. What I do know is that I'll be seeking out those endorphins wherever I can find them!

1 comment:

  1. Tough Mudder could be added to your list of things to do. Its certainly a challenge and combines your cardio and weight lifting training. I cant wait to cross the finish line with my team mates and possibly an Egg??!!!xx