It’s now less than a week until I go to Kenya and I have to say I am not prepared at all.
Last week, I feel, was probably my most important week. It should have been a time when I am training hard and putting in the miles. However I did nothing – no training at all. It was because I was so busy.
Everyday this week I have been traveling to different parts of the country. I live in the middle of England and my travels this week have taken me to a few coastal towns and a few towns in the opposite direction. It has meant that I have been traveling in the car for about 20 hours this week
It has left me slightly disoriented – I don’t know whether I am coming or going. I feel like I am being pulled every which way. I don’t even know what day it is anymore.
It has meant I haven’t had time to think about my diet either. I feel I have done ok, the second half of the week being better than the first. The worst thing is the lack of exercise.
I feel that the week off the exercise has set me back months. This half marathon is now only around the corner and I feel like I have lost all the ability to succeed.
I have a run scheduled soon so I am hoping that will make me feel better about things but I still have a lot to do with only a few days to do it in. I am just hoping I don’t turn up at the airport tired before I even start.
It really isn’t long now until I go to Kenya. It’s hard to believe that a month from now it will all be over and I will be looking for something else to focus on.
For months now my main focus has been training for this half marathon. I know it will be the second time of doing it but the training is still important.
I think the fact that I know I have done it before makes me believe that I can do it again. Last year that was one of my biggest fears – not knowing if I could do it or not.
I have been training now for over 6 months and some months I have been training almost everyday. Since January I have set myself goals that have been going very well. Infact they have been going so much better than I expected.
That is until this month. For May I have set the goal to up my mileage every week and by the end of the month hopefully I would have reached 10 or 11 miles.
Last week I managed to reach 9 miles which I was extremely happy about. However afterwards I was ill. My neck was burning and swelling up I got incredibly tired and I put on 5lbs over night. I generally felt really rotten and my emotions were all over the place. So I booked an appointment with my doctor. He suspects that I might have a thyroid disease which he can only prove with further blood tests. He also said it’s brought on by stress.
Fortunately, this week I went to see Jenny and a month ago I had a DNA health test with her and this week my results had arrived. I told her my issues and she said the way I was feeling made sense. This stress the doctors said though is not mental stress – it’s physical stress.
She said that the Thyroid contains something called T3 and T4. One keeps you going helping you do the things you need to do and the other helps to heal repair and level out things afterwards. She said the one to repair is not working which is why I instantly put on weight and why my emotions are going haywire and why I am generally tired all the time.
She also said that what I have been doing is basically sticking a plaster on a stab wound.
I have had a thyroid issue for years and I have always kept up on test checking that all is ok. My main focus throughout my training though has all been about strengthening my legs and sorting out any little ailments I may have, which I feel I have done.
What Jenny said has totally made me think and I realised that has been exactly what I have been doing – I have been putting that plaster over a stab wound. I have been too busy trying to make sure my legs can get me across that finish line that I forgot to look deeper to see what the real problem was.
It isn’t all bad news though as there is something that can be done about it apparently. I have done another 9 miles since and I was a little better than before. So it means that I can still go to Kenya. But I am actually starting to doubt whether I can complete the challenge. Whatever happens, I will keep trying.
My post from last week has really helped me with my post for this week. Last week I told you how hard it is to stay motivated. A friend commented on it who I met when I was on my trip to Rwanda last year – he did the marathon while I did a half marathon. He simply reminded me of the reason I am doing it.
He said to remember the children, see their faces and see their joy. He also said that they need people like me to keep digging deep. All this week I have been reminded of the children and their smiley faces
Last year when training for the half marathon in Rwanda those children were my motivation. For some reason knowing that I was doing something good for someone else really drove me on. Knowing that in some small way I am helping children on the poverty line get a better future is why I did it.
About half way through the part I was struggling the most those children helped me along. They wanted to run with me holding my hand as we went. I counted I was holding the hands of about 10 children at one point. It was a very special moment for me. I don’t think I would have finished without them
Last year my run helped raise money for the children of Rwanda. This year its to help the children of Kenya. I know in the scheme of things what I am doing is relatively small as there is so much need in the world not just in Kenya but to me it’s huge. It’s a lot of effort and hard work but it’s totally worth it when you see those smiley faces.
My training this year has been really hard. I know now it’s because I lost my focus – I was too busy thinking about myself and how much hard work it is. I was forcing myself to train every week but I really couldn’t be bothered to do it. All of a sudden though, after I was told to remember the children, things changed. It was still tiring and hard work but all of a sudden I was starting to enjoy it (even in the rain). That can’t be bothered attitude disappeared and was replaced with a purpose and a reason to carry on.
If you feel you can help and donate to the children of Kenya push the link
February challenge is now over. So it’s now onto the March challenge.
March is going to be a very difficult month for me. I have so much on and very little time to think about any new challenge. I am finding though that theses challenges every month are really working for me.
I have actually really enjoyed them when they’re done. During the month I do find it tough completing them but there is definitely a sense of achievement once the month is over.
So January I swam over 2000 lengths (20 miles) of a swimming pool. February I ran/ walked over 50 miles. So I thought for March I would combine the 2.
I thought I would swim 1000 lengths and run/walk 30 miles. It may not sound like enough but I know I have about 8 days where I can’t do any exercise at all this month.
To add to the challenge I thought I would also really try and lose weight this month too. It has been months since I have lost any weight. For some reason it just doesn’t want to budge anymore no matter how hard I try. All I can do is try my best.
As my February challenge ended the March challenge has struggled to get started. All this week I have had one of my children off school sick. All have had coughs and colds and generally feeling really rotten. It has gradually gone around the house causing everyone to get it.
I feel like we have been in quarantine all week trying not to pass it any further
This has slowed down my exercise a little. Trying to exercise when you feel that rotten isn’t much fun at all. I have managed to progress a little though.
There is one consolation and that is I haven’t really fancied eating too much. Hopefully this means I might actually lose weight!!!
Sometimes I find it hard to remember how I use to be. I feel I have been going down this journey for so long now that I can’t believe how I was.
I do remember though that I let things get to me really easily – it didn’t seem to take much to tip me over the edge and for me to feel like I couldn’t cope. I think it must have been all that excess weight on my brain!!
To have a sudden change in my schedule or finding that I had extra things I had to do would cause me to have a mini meltdown and it usually resulted in Matt sorting me out.
Matt would on occasion have to go away on trips and that was always a particularly bad time emotionally for me and it would usually consist of me collapsing in a heap when he got back.
I have been wondering how I would cope now with all those things. Well this week it has really been put to the test.
Matt has been away this week leaving me with the kids at home. That always means I have to add a lot more to my schedule. I have been prepared for this one so I feel I have coped with it very well.
However this week I have had so many unexpected things fall on my lap, things that have also added to my schedule and giving me so much more to do.
It was also my birthday this week too so I got to go out a lot more.
So this week I don’t know if I am coming or going. I feel I have been pulled this way and then that way. My head is going through a whirlwind of emotions not knowing which way to go next.
If this was a couple of years ago I think I would have had a total meltdown by now.
This time though I have embraced it, got on with the job at hand and actually enjoyed the experience.
I have even managed to stay on schedule with my running/walking this month. I have now reached 31 miles only another 19 to go.
The only negative I am getting out of this is that I am a little more tired than normal but I can totally cope with that.
I always thought while going down this journey that losing weight would be so much harder than trying to maintain it.
I have to admit that I would still love to lose weight and I still have another 3-4 stone to lose. It has actually been a year since I have lost any weight and it has not been without trying.
I have been at this stage many times in my life but never for a year. Normally after losing so much weight I always plateau. I get to the stage of not being able to lose anymore weight and then after a few months it goes back on again. On a few occasions it has sent me into a depression which has made matters so much worse.
Here I am a year on and I am still in that place. I am still eating healthy 80% of the time the other 20% are the stages that I really find hard and I slip for a short while.
I am still exercising too, some weeks are good. Last year my normal distance was 5k this year it’s 7k sometimes I even go further.
This week though has been particularly bad. I meet a group of ladies once a week. We all run together. I have always felt that I do ok. I am not the fastest but I am not the slowest either.
This week though I was so tired that I almost didn’t go. I thought it would do me good so I did go. During the run I was lagging behind so much that I held everybody up.
It was like I had lost my whole ability to run at all. I was out of breath, my legs were aching so much and my energy levels disappeared so quickly. I just couldn’t keep up at all
I haven’t really ached much after a run for a long time – probably ever since I did my half marathon. This time though I seemed to ache for days.
On this occasion it had the total opposite effect on me that I would have thought.
Instead of me thinking I have lost all my ability and end up going down the route of all the bad 20% of my eating habits, it made me more determined instead. I looked at it as a blip and I was happier I went even though I was aching.
From a very early age I have always had a fascination with hair. I don’t know why but I was always amazed at all the amazing things you could do with it.
When I was little I would spend so much time in my Mum and Dads bedroom. They had this mirror where you could see the back of your hair. I would practice putting my hair up, I would perfect one style and then I would try another. I would stand there for hours just trying new styles.
I don’t know why I was so obsessed but it was definitely one of the reasons I trained to be a hairdresser. I then learnt how to cut, colour, and perm. I learnt all the techniques and I loved it just as much. Once I finished my training I went on to specialise in cutting hair and I also did a course on putting hair up.
I remember at the course the teacher was showing us techniques. At one time I remember saying that I prefer to do it differently because it’s easier and a better result. If I think back I always find it funny because it ended up with the pupil teaching the teacher.
It didn’t take me long before I started doing weddings. I remember I was 19 and I hadn’t finished my hairdressing training at the time. My first wedding was 11th August 1990, it was my brother who was getting married and I did my sister-in-laws hair. She had 4 bridesmaids – me, my sister, her sister and her 2 year old niece, Laura.
After that the weddings came flooding in. I must have done hundreds of weddings, thousands of peoples hair and millions of bobby pins have past through my fingers in my life time.
I have always found it a privilege to have been asked to be a part of someone’s special day. I have always loved it. It was always a challenge getting people finished in time but I have never made any bride late – well not yet anyway.
There was one time I had to do a bride and 12 bridesmaids for an 11.30 wedding. It was for my sister so I was one of those bridesmaids too. I even did my own hair for my wedding!
I always prepare the day before by putting the rollers in and have fun listening to the stories about the funny looks they got throughout the day. One wedding party went to a nightclub in the evening with their rollers in.
Always on the day before it’s like the bridal party don’t care what they look like because it’s all about the adventure on the run up.
On the big day I am very often up at the crack of dawn and working tirelessly until I finish. It has always been very tiring, but to me I am glad I can help to make someone’s big day special.
It would be nice though to go to a wedding when it hasn’t taken me 2 minutes to change, I don’t feel so tired and not be the last person to arrive at the church. Once I walked in late to the church, fell over down the aisle with everyone watching. I then stood up totally embarrassed and sat myself on a strangers lap to move out of sight. Obviously this caused lots of laughter.
This week I have been preparing for another wedding. It was for that little 2 year old bridesmaid I did on my first wedding 27 years ago. I thought what an opportune time to make it the last time I do one. Finishing with a person who was at my first!
Letting go of something I have done for so long is actually quite hard. I am for now saying it is my last one but I know if someone else asked me I would still probably say yes!
In some ways that is how I feel about the journey I have been on – I had been doing something a long time which I’ve now stopped – eating badly. But sometimes I think I am slipping back but I’m not going to let go eventhough it’s hard work. I have come too far to stop now.
Every morning when I wake up it’s still dark outside, the street lights are still on and it doesn’t look anything like morning.
I find it really hard getting out of bed when it’s so dark and cold outside. The kids still need to go to school and my day needs to get started so lying in bed isn’t really an option.
I don’t know what it is about this time of year but it can make you feel really tired and lethargic.
A few years ago I had a health check and one thing they said is that I am low in vitamin D which means I am not getting enough sun.
There is also a name for it, it’s called S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) – it too can make you feel tired and lethargic
With these shorter days it usually means that when I pick the kids up we are also driving home in the dark too. There can be days when it’s lovely and fresh and the sun comes out, but these are few and far between this time of year.
I have to admit that I do find these shorter days and longer nights slightly depressing.
When I feel like that, with me diets very often go right out the window. It’s a good job now that I don’t class myself as being on a diet anymore, it’s just my way of life now.
So even though I am feeling tired and lethargic at least my habits haven’t changed.
It must have been at least a month since I did one of my daily walks. The reason I haven’t done them recently is because I felt I needed to do something different.
I have been going to exercise classes and I have also upped the amount of training I do with my personal trainer.
For the last few weeks I have either had an exercise class to go to or a training session. There has been one every day of the week, sometimes 2 a day, only having a break at weekends.
Over the last few days I feel that I have worn myself out. I have put those trainers on one too many times and now I am exhausted.
I feel I need to do it to keep me motivated. I also still enjoy it which is good considering I am so tired.
Hopefully though I will quickly get used to the extra exercise because I am worried that the enjoyment will get replaced with exhaustion and I won’t want to do it anymore.
I feel I really need to keep to a routine of certain exercises a day just to spur me on. I have noticed while doing the exercises that I am achieving so much. Last year I would never have done any running, go on a bike, do half the exercises I am doing now. I just wouldn’t have had the energy
I am actually quite proud of my achievements this year. I now feel I can do these exercises which I wouldn’t have dared to try last year.