Another week gone by with more ups and downs than a Nun doing press-ups in a cucumber field.
The week started ok. I ran 10k on Monday and Wednesday (with the Plums, which I'll come on to later). I then ran a shorter but lumpy 5.5m on Saturday, followed by an easy 5 on Sunday which for the best part was off road over Oxleas Woods.
As it stands, I'm not enjoying my running at the moment. I have to be honest with myself and say I'm not enjoying much at the moment. I feel depressed and one of the telltale signs I look for is losing interest in things that I previously loved. Ok, my fitness levels have deserted me since the marathon and a little weight has gone on but I'm just hating every minute that I'm running at the moment.
Both Chandra and Rich have said I should try something different. Get back in the Gym, get back out on the bike, do some walking, swimming, anything else that counts as exercise, like getting back out in the garden and doing some more digging. Anything counts.
It feels very difficult to believe I ran a marathon just over 2 months ago now. Running 10k is a struggle for me at present.
I made a conscious effort to dig in last week and do four additional upper body and core work outs on top of my four runs for the week. Only 40 minutes-worth apeace but at 400 sit ups/crunches a time, more than worthwhile.
Depression is not a word I have a fond affection for. In the days before I took my training seriously, I suffered greatly from depression. It has never been fully diagnosed by a doctor but I can tell you that I've suffered with depression for years. Most readers will know my brother is Bipolar and my Dad suffers from depression too. It runs in the family, unfortunately.
Last week, the depression took hold again. Not majorly but it feels like it had caught up with me. I'd had an incredible run of 2 years without an attack of any kind. It just so happens I was feeling down, I'd had an issue with the Plums on Wednesday night, I'd had a god damn awful first date on Thursday night and on top of my drastic drop in fitness, it all came to a head and I found myself questioning myself late on Thursday evening.
Sadly, Friday morning, I felt like I was 6ft under. Its was a huge shame as I was supposed to be on a second date on Friday evening with a very nice young lady who I'd met the week before but I just didnt feel well enough to go. I text my date and explained and she took the news very well that I was blowing her out with minimum notice. I told her the truth rather than give some feeble excuse. I was having a real bad time and my self-confidence was at an all-time low.
I'd like to say a big thanks to my brother at this point because I ended up going out with Steve on that Friday evening and he attemtped successfully to put a smile back on my face and talking things through with him made a massive difference. Dont get me wrong, the black cloud hasnt just upped and disappeared, it has been given a huge dose of salt and had been put into perspective, so I'm back looking at the world in the right way. Hopefully, as I put more time into my training and my fitness gets better, the cloud should lift.
Sunday was fun. Up at the crack of dawn to go to Maidstone to see Izzy compete in the Kent Gymnastics Floor and Vault Competition. Welling, to Gravesend to pick up Izzy and the ex-wife, then on to Maidstone. We arrived around 8:15am. I spent most of the morning yawning my head off having stayed up to watch England v Honduras the night before.
However, it was well worth the early start.
Izzy had to perform a floor routine followed by performing two vaults...
As you can see from the two videos grabbed on my iPhone, Izzy done great. It takes a lot to get up and do that in front of a crowd of a good 500 people, let alone the other 100 or so competing Gymnasts.
But we didnt quite know how well she done...
Excuse the poor iPhone photography but thats Izzy on the podium in Bronze medal position. Third. Oh god, I was choked. Eyes welling up. Sunglasses went back on. I cant even describe how proud I felt.
After finishing 6th and a bucket full of tears last time round, can you tell how Izzy was from this photo?
I was sooo pleased for her. She works bloody hard at her Gymnastics and she's reaping the benefits. After her disappointment last time around, it was fantastic to see her with that big smile on her face again.
She taught me a very valuable lesson though. Sport must be performed with a smile on your face. You need to be enjoying what you're doing. If you're not enjoying it, there's very little point in continuing.
There is another positive to take from this weekend. A pretty major one. My chance of a second date isnt quite over just yet.