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If You Don’t Talk About It It’s Not Real

September 8, 2011

I excel at lying to myself. Let’s face it, you don’t reach 348 pounds without the ability to deceive yourself about the reality of the situation. So even though so many areas of my life are different, I still have an amazing capacity to avoid situations and not think about them. Enter a week ago Tuesday.

Tuesday started off as a normal day and after a great swim session with the master’s group I headed to work. By 10 am I knew something wasn’t right. I was dizzy and nauseous. It was getting worse so I worked through staff meeting and went home early thinking if I could get a nap in I could avoid the coming migraine. The three-hour nap didn’t help much, but while sitting still at home things were only a little off-balance and not spinning. By 5 pm I knew I wouldn’t be able to make my training ride that night, and unless there was a miracle, my run the next morning would be out of the question as well. Wednesday came and I still felt like I had just stepped off the tea cups. By Thursday the ladies I work with finally made me convinced me to go to the doctors. Because the three days of dizziness and headaches wasn’t enough to make me go.

They ran some blood tests and found out that I’m anemic, but another concern the doctor had was that I wasn’t eating enough for my training, and between stress at work and stress from training I had worn my body out and it had nothing left to fight back with. Stress and poor nutrition had caused my body to respond by throwing me off-balance – literally. The verdict was to double my iron intake, up my calories, and the one I was really avoiding, take time off from training.

This was the real reason I hadn’t gone to the doctor. I already knew what they would tell me. They would tell me that 2.5 weeks before the race I’ve been training for I needed to stop.


Do nothing.

For a controlling, list-loving, type-A person, sitting and stopping don’t fit into my plan. I want to stick to the plan and cross off my finished workouts. I want to meet the goal I’ve been training for.

So I (grudgingly) took the rest of the week off. Walking on a treadmill was allowed, so on Saturday I went and walked for an hour. I think that hour was harder than most of my runs. I wasn’t as dizzy but I was just exhausted. The rest of Saturday and Sunday I took off and rested more than normal. I watched a lot of TV. Why had nobody told me about the amazing show, “Swamp People“? These people are seriously AWESOME.

I also ate. A lot. Some healthy foods, some not-so-healthy foods. Although ice cream is dairy and you need dairy for strong bones, therefore ice cream is healthy. For those who are wondering (and before I get labeled as an anorexic or my mom calls me), yes I was eating before- just not enough. When you’re burning 1500-2000 calories a day you should eat more than I was. Once you’ve been overweight you are afraid to ever go back, so the idea of eating so many calories was frightening. (I’ll write an in-depth post later about the mental struggles that I STILL have with food, six years after weight-loss surgery and starting my journey to be healthy.)

I’m feeling better now and back to my normal routine. I had a good bike/run brick last week that made me hopeful that things will go smoothly despite taking a week off of training. This week I’m tapering and getting ready for my International on Saturday.

Since I’ve already admitted that I love lists, here’s my list of what I’ve learned (or been reminded of):

  • I need to eat more when I’m training this hard.
  • I need a lot more sleep that I think I do. I may function on 6 hours of sleep, but I don’t perform well.
  • I also need to listen to my body and adjust when I start feeling off.
  • My friends, family and training team rock. They are all so encouraging.
  • I know a lot of people who are much smarter about all this triathlon/racing stuff than I am. I should listen to them.
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