Training Tuesday #3

I’m very happy to report that I’m training again! Woo hoo!

Yesterday (Monday) was the first day that I felt more like myself again – I’m still quite tired but my brain doesn’t seem as foggy anymore which is making ALL the difference. Fingers crossed it means that my iron supplements are kicking in nicely and all I need to do is keep taking them and I’ll be all hunky dory again.

Yesterday it was an absolutely gorgeous day in Glasgow

Sunny Glasgow

and in the quest to get more comfortable on my bike I’d devised a simple 14km out and back route that I wanted to try out before work.

The route had a couple of good things in it for me, the first section of my route has lots of traffic lights on it which is quite daunting for me and my clipping in / clipping out mishaps but that’s precisely where I need the practice and I can do this over and over again in the park on the bike track but it’ll never replicate the roads so on the roads I shall go.

The second section of the road is mainly dual carriageway which means that for the most part motorists just go into the outside lane to get round me and don’t try and squeeze past me. I’m hoping this will help me get a bit more confidence on the roads without having to worry overly about the cars – I’ve had a couple of incidents where I’ve been beeped at and although I wasn’t doing anything wrong and I’m as much entitled to be there as the cars, it still made me anxious!

This route can actually be quite busy with traffic at the wrong times but my intention was to get out at 6am to get my hour (or so) in giving me enough time to get home, showered and to work for 8am

As I’ve proved above, the weather was in my favour for my first trip out and it was pretty awesome! I also managed to pass (twice) my personal trainer, M, at the end of my out and back section and he commented later how good I was looking on the bike! I’ll take compliments anywhere when it comes to the bike!

Cycle before work
Out and Back Bike Confidence Route

After work, the less said about that the better, I had a PT session with M to go to. Because the weather was still so nice and my M’s gym isn’t far away from my house I decided to be crazy and run to my PT session.

Run to PT session in the sunshine

Run to PT

Having not had the energy to do pretty much anything for the best part of a fortnight the idea of running was scary at the thought of how much it would hurt but once I got going it felt oh so good to get my trainers on and pound the pavement again!

M knew about my anemia so we spent more time on weight based workouts during my hour session rather than my usual HIIT style training – there’s no point breaking me just now – there’ll be plenty of time for that once the docs are sure we’ve found the cure!

This was great too as it meant I still had the energy to run back home again and my return route felt even better than my outgoing one!

I really need to remember this feeling the next time I’m struggling to find the motivation to drag my feet through a tough run session! Don’t take anything you can do now for granted, you never know when it might be taken away from you!

Run home from PT

Yes the above km times are actually pretty great for me! I’m a slow turtle but I get there in the end.

Three Things Thursday #2

Training

As you may probably have guessed from my last post my training hasn’t really been going anywhere at the moment. I’m still incredibly tired, the work day takes it out of me enough these days! But as I explained previously now that I know I’m ill I’m letting my body do what it needs to do to heal. I’m not OK with lounging on the sofa every night, I feel like I should be doing something but then I listen to how I’m feeling and realise that I wouldn’t have the energy to do anything even if I forced myself. Last night, after work I went to do some food shopping for the weekend and by the time I got to the flat I was spent! I just wish my lil red blood cells would hurry up and reappear. Hopefully my iron tablets will start to work their magic soon and I’ll literally be back up and running in no time.

Weekend Plans

Although I’m pretty shattered at the moment and it might not seem like the best idea to have plans, I’m excited about the weekend because my folks are coming to visit! They haven’t been to stay for the best part of 18 months (we’ve caught up in other locations due to other family events during this time) and they’ve not met our little furballs, the kittens, yet and my Dad loves cats (don’t get him started about how he wants a new one when my Mum is dead against it!) so hopefully he’ll enjoy being around cats again and the girls will love meeting their human grandparents.

We don’t have a lot planned for the weekend really but my Dad is going to help S with some DIY things around the flat – mainly fitting a wall mounted bike rack to our cloakroom so that we will no longer be falling over our bikes all the time!

Bike Skills

Although I was absolutely shattered last night S and I had training plans. A while ago I had signed us both up for some Bike Skills sessions put on by a couple of our triathlon coaches. S says he learned a lot from last night but really the sessions were more for my benefit than his. We were split into two groups, a faster and slower group, with S being in the faster and me in the slower, and went round the local bike track (in the wind and pouring rain I might add!) learning more about cornering, starting and stopping, hand signals, taking water on the bike and riding in a group. We learned how to stay on the wheel of the bike in front, signals used when riding in groups and stopping and setting off without causing a pile up.

Even though the weather was horrendous and I was shattered before I’d even started I really enjoyed the session and it is definitely helping me get more comfortable and confident on the bike. I managed about 1 hour 20 minutes of the 2 hour session before I started properly dropping, I was desperately trying to stay on the wheel in front of me but I didn’t have the energy and then when I got dropped, the energy needed to battle the wind and get back on to the wheel again meant that I was too tired to stay on the wheel when back there! Vicious cycle indeed!

My coach knew what I was dealing with and, hopefully, understood when I declared myself done – hopefully my tablets will kick in soon and the next sessions, its due to run for the next 12 weeks (I think) so I’m not being too hard on myself for missing part of the first session.

I am absotivelyposilutely determined to finish this summer loving cycling and my bike – I loved my bike when I first got it and then we had a bit of a falling out recently and I wanna make amends!

Anemia and my first DNS

Training hasn’t been going so well recently as the last couple of weeks I’ve been incredibly tired, as in, unbelievably so.

So I booked an appointment to see my GP as I’ve been falling asleep everywhere, have no energy whatsoever and whenever I was sleeping I’ve been waking up just as tired as when I went to bed!

My doctor didn’t think it was embarrassing that I was booking an appointment because I was tired – I was worried that I was imagining it and just being lazy but he seemed to listen to what I had to say and decided that I should go for some blood tests to see if anything came up.

Well – it turns out that I am, in his words ‘severely anemic’ my iron absorption levels should be between 25 and 200 and mine were the grand total of… 3! No wonder I was so tired!! As iron is responsible for creating red blood cells and carrying oxygen around the body it was fair to say that I was absolutely exhausted.

At the moment I’ve been put on iron tablets which might not work due to me not really having a stomach in which to digest and absorb the stuff. He’s hoping that a large volume of iron might help my body even to absorb a small percentage of it however I need to have more tests to try and find out why I’m not absorbing the iron in the first place. The answer to this might be that I have to go on iron injections but I’ll be honest if I can stop being this damn tired then I’ll do anything at the moment! I’m barely getting through my standard working days nevermind even considering training at the moment!

This has, understandably, bummed me out a bit but on the other hand I’m really relieved that there’s something medically going on to make me like this – I honestly thought I was either imagining being so tired and using it as an excuse to not workout or simply being lethargic and more I slept the more tired I was becoming. Knowing now that it’s not any of these things and it’s actually my body and something wrong then I can give myself some slack and let my body recover.

Hopefully the iron tablets / injections will work and I’ll be able to ramp my training up once again.

My aim for this summer is the bike and gaining confidence with my clipless pedals and generally getting stronger riding however the last thing I wanted to do when I was feeling shattered and weak was to try and stay upright on a bike! Plus it hasn’t helped that it snowed here in the UK this past week! I didn’t want to try and cycle in that! So this week was pretty much a rest week for me – no use pushing it when my body doesn’t actually have the capacity to carry oxygen around my body!

And this brings me on to my next topic…

My first ever DNS

I had signed up for the first sprint triathlon of the season which is due to take place on Sunday (8th May) but after speaking to both my doctor and coach they’ve both advised not to do it. This particular triathlon isn’t the easiest in terms of terain, the bike course is four loops and involves a dead right hand turn at the bottom of a downhill section which then u-turns straight back up the hill again – my bike confidence would have taken a battering on the course with full energy levels but the way I am currently? It could derail me again for a long time. The run course whilst not being hilly takes place along a canal path which last year was basically flooded due to horrible weather and it’s not been much better this year either and not to mention that I haven’t run if forever (it’s actually only been two weeks but feels like forever).

S also mentioned that it’s probable that I’ll get out of the pool, my usual strong section, absolutely shattered with the knowledge that I’ve still got the bike and run sections to go.

So, to cut a long story short I’m going to be getting my first ever DNS – but in my head I’d much rather have a DNS than a DNF (and collapse! lol).

I’m thinking of this DNS as a sensible reaction to a known situation – this is me taking control of something and being cautious and letting my body recover – now that I know there is actually something wrong with my blood levels there’s no point pushing it. If I’d not trained and eaten crap then yeah I should be totally pushing through the pain and getting on with it but this isn’t the situation here.

I’m a huge advocate of pushing through pain and ‘just getting on with it’ but here a DNF would be me going into this knowing something’s wrong and blindly go on anyway.

I have another triathlon in 5 weeks so my focus has now turned to that instead – I also did that one last year so I’ve got a time to beat too! Hopefully by then my bike skills will have gotten better and I’ve recovered from this illness and will be back running again.

Here’s to looking forwards!