I ended the year with my motivation levels on a high. 10 days hard training in Lanzarote in November, followed by a full month where I had a swim focus firmly back into my weekly training schedule was making my endorphins sparkle. Every training session was ticked off, every week progress being made, every day nailing my numbers. I was literally riding high.
But as the clock chimed in 2022, my lucky streak ended as I woke up on New Year’s Day with a covid-like cough. Over the next few days, I went from feeling a bit rough to not being able to do light training, with even a short walk around the block being out of the question. My body was exhausted, my cough was so bad it kept me awake, my nose ran and my temperature was iffy. While the lateral flow tests were negative, I spent the first 10 days of the year inside, mostly in bed and feeling lousy.
In total, I lost a full 17 days to illness and as I write this reflection on 1st February, I am still frustratingly not feeling fully back to health and certainly not full fitness.
[Pic: Lanzarote training Nov 22 - sadly no smiling pics of January training ]
While I was ill, I gave myself a bit of a break from social media. The jealousy of seeing my friends training was becoming a bit too much. Halfway through the month, thinking I was ready, I tried to race on Zwift which was a bad idea. I could not hold any numbers, I could not even finish –a bloody DNF on an online race what an absolute all-time low. And, somewhat unfortunately, back in December I had eagerly signed up to a month-long team running challenge, which in the end I could not really contribute to, and it just became a bit of unnecessary pressure, while I was trying to recover.
So, while my in real life races don’t start until May, I am currently reflecting on January with a bit of frustration. I have tried to be all positive about building the base back, but I will admit I am still finding it hard to not be utterly hacked off by my set back. The swim fitness I had worked hard to gain is slow to return, the run speed I am trying desperately to find is alluding me, and the cycling numbers I should be able to hold are still not attainable.
It is easy to say I need to find some perspective, god knows that is the sort of cliched advice I am known to give out, but genuinely I am struggling where to find it. I have gone from feeling uber motivated with a “I can stand atop any mountain” to feeling generally just a bit hacked off about life and everything. Mentally it's not the best place to be, and I know I need to find a way to snap myself out of it.
Since today is Chinese New Year, perhaps this serves a timely reminder for me to reset and go find my inner tiger. What I do know is that when I sit down to write my February reflections they have got to be considerably better!