So. How is everyone? Aren’t you sick of people asking you that? I am but largely because the answer can vary so very much over even such a short timeframe, sometimes changing dramatically over even just one hour.
Some days I am fully motivated to work, exercise, cook, clean, learn a new language, teach the dog how to walk nicely on his lead (not cracked that one yet) and then other days I can barely be bothered to get out of bed or brush my hair. I know I am not alone in this as my friends tell me that they feel the same. Covid-19 certainly has been a game-changer for everyone.
In my last blog which I wrote a few months ago now, I was planning a big year of exercise but the reality was that I was barely holding anything together at all, apart from work. I was working hard and enjoying my job again which was wonderful and extremely welcome. But as for everything else, well, everything else was collapsing. I had totally lost my ability to multitask and as I am a person who often has 17 balls in the air at once, and needs to have that many balls in the air to get through each day more importantly, this was a problem. Panic attacks and random hysterical sobbing started for no apparent reason (including one in a business situation, which was a real low point) and finally, mid February, after a particularly frightening couple of days, my husband suggested that I seek some professional help.
I was so angry that I couldn’t seem to pull myself together and felt utterly defeated. I had been continuing to walk to and from work, sometimes running to try and use exercise to pep myself up, but nothing was working. So, rather reluctantly, I met with a counsellor. It took only a couple of sessions to establish that I have PTSD as a result of what happened last Summer and I am still in the process of learning how to deal with this.
In those early sessions, we discussed many things, but the most important one, was that I needed to do “less”. This was to allow my body and mind to relax, reset and rest. Of course, one of the early sessions was us discussing that although I needed to do this, it wasn’t realistically possible due to work, family life, daughter commitments, races, training and social engagements. I did however cancel some upcoming social engagements.
Then Covid-19 happened and so now I am definitely doing “less”.
Work is slow, but ticking over but everything else has completely stopped. On top of this, the Government have advised that we don’t do too much “endurance” related exercise as it depletes the body of glycogen stores and limits our ability to fight the dreaded virus should you be unlucky enough to get it.
Therefore, whilst I am not exercising as much as I was this time last year, I am definitely still ticking over and managing to do something every other day, sometimes a bit more often than that and sometimes not quite as much. Exercise has reverted to base levels for me and I have re-visited “Step Aerobics”, although without the all in one leotard I wore when I was a teenager and have also been doing some Joe Wicks HIITs. (Give them a try if you haven’t already). I was also very lucky to win a spin bike which arrived the week before lock-down (perfect timing) and so I have been doing an online spin class twice a week too to keep my cycling ticking over. I have weights but have always been terrible at doing strength work, but I have been using this time to embrace this a bit more. So all in all, when we are finally released from this lockdown, I should still have some level of fitness. Hopefully I will also be mentally rested and recuperated also and be ready to start training again.
All of my triathlon events have been cancelled and the Bristol 10k is not happening so all pressure has gone. Again, not having pressure is good for me at the moment and so currently, the Great North Run in September is my next event. I have plenty of time to train for this and hopefully it will be enjoyable. Running currently is very hap hazard as I am largely preserving my outdoor activities for dog walks and although I sometimes run around a field with Bruce, it’s more for him than me, meaning it’s very stop/start and not very productive for training. But at the moment, it’s enough.
Stay safe and I’ll write more blogs as normality returns and training for the GNR starts in earnest.