Giving up, giving in

When you have passed 40 you should know better. You should be mature enough to grant yourself permission to just be and do what you want to do. If that is what you want.

You are old and comfortable enough to leave the house with no makeup and with not so presentable clothing. But you are angry with your body for not giving you more, for not running faster, for not lifting heavier but at the same time you are old and smart enough to know your limits.

You are old enough to accept that your body looks the way it does but at the same time wish it was a little bit younger and stronger. And maybe a little bit better looking. Everything slips a little and sinks a few inches. I remember boobs, it was awesome. Kids and exercising make some body parts shrink and some grow and you can’t always make that decision yourself. Accepting and liking are not the same.

You are at that point in your life when you still haven’t figured out how this life thing works but it seems to work out anyway. It’s a lot about winging it. Every day.

Your brain basically reached its capacity. If you add on extra information something else slips out. You remember recipes and old phone numbers but you can’t seem to learn that last pin for your new Visa card. Again. And passwords…sigh. And names, at least you remember faces.

The tolerance level for mean and plain stupid people hit bottom, and you are old enough to choose your own company and friends. It gets easier to say no.

With all that said I should be old and smart enough to be able to take care of myself and make my own decisions. I have figured out why I am having second thoughts when it comes to the race in June. (I know it’s just a race but since this blog is about very small glimpses of my life I choose to make a big deal out of it.) When you feel it in your heart, in your whole body, in your mind, when it’s in your thoughts, then you know it is right for you. I don’t feel it. It sure is in my thoughts but I feel uncomfortable and listless when I think about it. Scared is not the right word but not far from. Uncomfortable can be really good as long as you work on getting more comfortable. I have aches and pains in more than one body part that keeps getting worse and I add on new all the time. Foot, knee and shoulder, kind of essential parts for swimming, biking and running. And it has messed up my sleep for a long time. I wake up all the time thinking about swimming. Last nights sleep, waking up 14 times, not a good sign.

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I’ve been looking forward to all races I’ve done in the past 6 years. Sometimes with fear but the fear usually goes away the more you run or prepare. I remember my first marathon, I felt really worried the first weeks but the more you run the more you build your confidence. And on race day you really look forward to get it done. When we pile it on we usually grow stronger. We get more capable and work more effortless. Mileage, weights, laps, burdens… over time we build it up and grow stronger. But when we do things in a careless way you don’t really grow stronger, you usually feel impatient and might not comprehend why you don’t move forward and up. You might even become weaker since your body and mind don’t work together. You don’t get very far when you do things half-assed. When you don’t want it bad enough you don’t try hard enough, right. A bad sign for me is that I’ve been wearing more ‘human clothes’ and less running tights. And my hair has actually been dry a few hours every day. I make excuses and feel tired. I focus a lot on my problems instead of thinking past them. That is not me and I don’t recognize myself at all.

I just have to admit that this is not my dream. It sounds so cool when I hear people talk about it. The ultimate race. But someone else’s dream is not my dream. Maybe next year, in 5 or 10 years, or never, not in June.

What to do now? I have no clue. I am from today without a goal. I have no reason to get up at 5am and run. I don’t have a reason to run hills or hard intervals on Wednesdays. My long runs and long bike rides might not be done. How does it feel? Not good at all. Empty. I actually cried when I sent off the email to my most excellent coach this morning. I am not just letting myself down, I have wasted other peoples time. So, if I know myself I will still have my old training program in the back of my head for a while, try my limits a little, get up at 5am every once in a while, run my hills and I will keep on running my long runs since that’s what makes me happy. I might even sign up for a race or two to keep me going.

Later, I am going for a run…

Feet up

Thursday night. Kids at late practice, garbage night, feet up. Made an extra batch of Bolognese that is still boiling. Life sure is exciting. I feel a bit broken. My right knee area is thick as a bratwurst and I have no clue what I’ve done. I just can’t believe it is overuse, ridiculous. Made an emergency visit at Mr Fix-it-all, our super fantastic chiropractor and he tried to ease it up a bit. I heard Power Plate and keep running, so I will keep running and shake it when I can. Blood flow is good. Always. I will focus on blood flow tomorrow.

I’ve been investing in training. Lots and lots of hours. Anything from 10 to 20 hours per week the last 6 months (or more the past 5 years or so). I have enjoyed more or less every hour. It is actually possible to enjoy even two hours bike/trainer in the garage starring at the wall. It takes some work but it is possible to turn around your mind. But lately my mind has been wondering off. I’ve have done things I like more and not what I need to do. Hold on here, you are going to hear a lot of whining, very unattractive, I know. I have focused more on pain, fatigue, not having enough time and not getting sleep. I have focused on my weaknesses and my problems, my tumors. And time just slipped. And now, here I am feeling like I am in terrible bad shape and not in any way ready for an Ironman. What I really want to do is a 24 hour wander on mountaintops and watch the stars and eat a sandwich, a long bike ride with lots of river crossings, long runs with beautiful views and heavy weights pushed over head, climb ropes and crazy overloaded sled pushes. I am terrified of swimming long, I am not a good swimmer. Back at goal setting and giving up on goals. I know I wrote about this in February and the sad thing is that I still think about it every day and every time I work out. Giving up is not my thing, I guess that is why I have such a big problem deciding. I pass the tri bike in the garage every morning and I feel like kicking it hard and I walk by and grab my mountain bike and take off. Probably a sign. Closing doors, opening new, at least a little window. Reevaluating, rethinking and re-doing. Will see what happens and what I decide before April is over.

Somehow it doesn’t work when I try to show a nice video from youtube. But click on the link and listen to Calum Scott singing Robyn’s Dancing on my own. Lovely.

https://youtu.be/6tU7x5bjNBo

Happy Earth Day

It’s been gorgeous weather the last few days around Seattle and it feels like summer is right around the corner. But, it changed really fast yesterday. I packed up my bike and gear around 4 and left for the first Adventure Race of the season. The rain started drizzling when I pulled out from the garage. When I reached Bellevue 15 minutes later it was pouring and I could barely see 100ft. Shorts, t-shirt and pink socks suddenly felt like a really bad choice of race gear and I felt happy I packed an extra bag and a puffy coat for after the race. The race went well. My super bestest master partner did awesome as usual and we crossed the finish line without any broken bones. And they waited for us with hot food and drinks. So nice. It’s been a while since I felt so miserably cold, I could not stop shaking. This early in the season it gets dark really fast and I could really tell I haven’t been biking trails in the dark in a while. I have some work to do. It doesn’t matter how good of a light you have. When I finally got in the tub before midnight my toes looked scary white and fingers red as little hot dogs. It was crazy wet the whole race and extra clothes felt unnecessary since it would have gotten wet again after 2 minutes. And nothing beats the feeling of soaking wet mountain bike shorts, sagging and hanging low. I switched gloves on the second bike but it didn’t help, couldn’t feel my fingers anyway. The last 30 minutes was fast biking with lots of hills and nothing gets you like fast downhill when you are soaking wet, so cold.

What an awesome start of the year, great race, lovely people, nice volunteers and basically in my back yard.

The sun is out again today. I packed up my bike but took it to the cycling shop. Last night, the last hill up to the finish line got really steep, I switched gear a few times as and tried to keep up. Suddenly my chain got all twisted and stuck. Ran a little with the bike and tried to fix it on the flat. Got up again and couldn’t change gear. Thought the whole thing got too muddy and just needed a nice wash after the race. When I got home I felt so cold I just hooked off the bike, parked it beside the other bikes and drove the car as far in as I could with the bike rack on and closed the door. But it didn’t look pretty this morning when I washed it off and tried it out.

I always have a hard time explaining what I think is wrong I what I think they need to fix. And I feel completely out of place. The chain was broken. When I tried to explain that the buttery feeling when I switch gears was gone the poor guy thought I was mad. And breaks didn’t feel right. I was right this time…it looks like I know my bike. Fixable for the price of nice dinner out for a dozen friends, totally worth it. And I got the nicest compliment when I left, that I must have biked like an aggressive young man to trash it like I did. Yeah. Thank you!

Since my bike is in the shop for a week I decided to run to the gym today. Oh my. My legs did not cooperate at all. I thought life was close to over on the first hill. But somehow my legs warmed up. 2 hours later, on the way back home, it felt really good. 9 minute miles became 8 minute miles on the way back and I somehow forgot about all aches and pains.

Happy Earth Day!

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Random chitchat

Since it’s been a while since I posted something this will turn into a bit of a riffraff, random chitchat. And I know I can be a bit difficult to follow when I start, I hear that all the time from my close ones. So what happened since last time? Parents visiting, kids in school, spring break that felt too short as always, B in Scotland playing golf and not home yet. I’ve had a few weeks off from school work and feel very excited to teach Sunday again. We have had a few volleyball tournaments, a climbing competition in Seattle and a lot of practices all over the area. C took a short trip to Smith, Oregon again last week and sent me a picture with a short text saying “stood on top of this” that left me a bit worried and I expressed myself really well in response, “shit”. I am glad my kids are used to my way of communicating. But I’ve heard it’s good to give children opportunities to communicate in multiple ways.

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And training… not going that well at the moment. I’ve lost it a bit again. I’ve managed to get in to a few CrossFit classes every week and have been running a little. Biking, swimming…neh, not enough. Took almost a week off when I went to San Diego and have been doing almost nothing when I had my parents here the last two weeks. I think it’s time to make a decision, maybe give up, give in, quit, or maybe start over and kick some ass. I don’t know. Ironman is getting closer and I am not getting any younger. And so many people ask me why the heck I am doing this so I am really starting to reconsider. And that is like failing.

It’s Friday! FRIDAY! Sunny and warm. And it feels great. Big plans for the night. Hanging out with my kids. I might move from one couch to another, or slowly glide down on the floor. Take out and a movie. I think it sounds perfect. And I am catching up a bit with friends, emails and texts. And checking in on a few blogs I’ve missed the past few weeks. A perfect Friday night. And I am honored that I actually get to have all three kids at home with me. The house needs a good cleaning, I need to do a lot of laundry, I should actually run and bike. I am way behind with everything. But, it’s a new day tomorrow.

My parents took off today. They have been here visiting for a while and next time we meet will be in Sweden I hope. The summer is getting closer.

I had the opportunity to speak at a Pecha Kucha event last night. It was a very nice evening with so many talented people from around Seattle. I am so honored that I got asked to do this and thanks to all of you that took part in different ways. If you ever get a chance to listen in on a Pecha Kucha event somewhere in the world, do so. I know I will.

I got a little surprised by the presentation they did of me before my speech. I got introduced as an exercise enthusiast. What a great thing to be. When I speak I am usually a teacher, principal, something that has to do with education or school administration or HR, a mother or something serious, but last night I got to speak about body/mind design from my perspective, that you can design your brain/mind when hiking/running/biking… and actually change your life. So much fun. Loved it.

I am still wearing the Band, the black little thing you can’t live without. An it’s actually true, I can’t live without it. It’s addicting. And so far so good, it’s working well. I track my runs, my biking and every once in a while my strength workouts. And, most important, I track my precious sleep. But I am not sure about the sleep tracking, I am confused, I am not sure if I should trust it. I don’t sleep very well, not enough, not deep enough, I wake up all the time and get a little stressed about it all. I know I don’t get enough sleep but to get it confirmed every morning breaks me down a little. And I don’t really know what to about it. I have tracked every night since I got it and I sleep between 4–6 hours every night and apparently I wake up 8-16 times in those hours. The bad part is that I can see how long I’ve been awake every time. I thought I was imagining this, thinking in the dark, trying to fall back to sleep. But it’s in black and white now, or actually more in light purple and pink. So, this is the only part that I don’t like with the Band, that it confirms my bad sleeping habits, it works too well. The sad thing is that I scratched it hauling around kettlebells over my head last week. And I would still like something nice golden on it, some bling. It doesn’t bother me that much anymore. It looks a bit odd when I dress up or wear something but workout clothes. In a way I miss using a nice watch to go with jewelry when dress up, so I stopped using jewelry. But who needs to look like a neat woman, I’ll go with the hardcore offender/matrix/prison look for a while.

Morning coffee

Back after a few days away. Beautiful, sunny warm days with food, talks and walks with a friend. 100 000 steps recorded, around 45 miles and blisters in between the toes from walking in flip flops. Afternoon snacks and drinks, late dinners and long sandy walks. And now I am back in Seattle. I started out the day drinking real coffee, I could not find any decent coffee down there. And life looks so bright when you get decent coffee. And then I took off. Planned on around six miles, to Redmond and back. The plan failed. I felt really awesome around mile 6, felt even better around mile 8 and decided to take the long route home around mile 9. Good planning. Got really thirsty. Felt extremely tired. And stumbled in after 14,5 miles. Feeling like a baby elephant, rolling around on wobbly legs. Good plan. And it’s great to be back.

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