Rest Day with Ranty McRanterpants

Rest Day with Ranty McRanterpants

If you’re looking to be surrounded by warmth and positivity today, take this hug and go. Go now. Run. I love you and will see you later.

If you’re interested in a mad rant and some sublime self-deprecating humor, please warm up your brain nuggets with this gem and buckle up, buttercups.

I hear people bitch all the time about rest days in triathlon, and it boggles my mind. Like, WTF is wrong with you that you can’t enjoy a day without working your ass off?? I enjoy training, but man, I LIVE for my rest day.

I feel like this is everybody else:

And this is me:

First of all, rest is good for you. It’s how your muscles rebuild and how you actually get stronger. That’s science, bro.

Rest is also a chance to let your mind think about things that aren’t training related (or, in my case, worry about the next training sesh, but whatevs). The mental break some weeks is more important to me than the physical break. And guys…IT’S ONE DAY. STFU.

I feel like surrounding myself with feeds about triathlon and working out has actually been kind of bad for me lately. This constant onslaught of rah-rah bullshit, reminders of what everyone else is doing, wondering if I’m measuring up, feeling inadequate even though I’m literally working my ass off…I’m realizing that social media is actually horrible for me. But I like the cute animals and the real-life updates from my friends, and some days, I ENJOY the rah-rahs and the tips from athletes so much better than me. So I hesitate to take a break or cultivate my feeds too much, because sometimes I like it all. But sometimes, like right meow, it’s too damn much.

Mostly I’m just crabby. And hungry. And aggravated about a big thing I can’t talk about, which is so damn hard because I really want to rant about something I can’t rant about, which just furthers my need to rant about SOMETHING, so here we are. Rantsville, population crabby.

On top of the big-thing-I-can’t-talk-about, this week has just been a turd all around. And after thinking about it for 2.3 seconds, I know it’s my fault. I made this turd. I pooped all over the week before it even started.

Want to know what I did? Ready for the big poop maker? I…didn’t…food prep.

Yeah. I know. This is you right now.

But as I’ve talked about before, food isn’t just stuff I eat. It’s my medicine as much as it is my sustenance. And while I strongly believe that sometimes the less nutritious stuff is necessary to fully enjoy life, I also believe I’m at a point where keeping things in line most of the time is the only way I’ll survive and perform to my best on this journey. So not having food ready for snacks or lunch, or having fresh veggies to prepare for dinner has led to me eating less-than-ideal options at lunch (cafeteria salads instead of my own homemade salads) and being seriously hungry all day with nothing to snack on, which then leads to being SO hungry at dinner that my judgement is clouded and I don’t make perfect decisions.

So what has this led to, aside from dangerous hanger? The goddamned scale has been jumping around. I thought I hit a HUGE milestone by dropping out of the 160s all last week, but this week, the scale has been back around 161 a few mornings. So I won’t be wearing my amazing mermaid leggings I THOUGHT I earned until this goal is firmly met, because I want to EARN my prize and now I don’t feel like I have. That’s really demoralizing. And yes, I know weight is so not the most important thing to monitor, but it matters to me right now, so please don’t discount the validity of my feelings. I understand I shouldn’t be worried about it, but when I also feel heavy, and the scale reaffirms that, it’s 100% okay for me to feel frustrated and want to get things back on track.

So you have this scale issue, which is something that can be explained away by normal hormone fluctuations, water retention (to an extent – I’m on BP meds with a diuretic, so I don’t retain too much fluid), sodium intake, dehydration, etc. But that plus general feelings of depression have been feeding a really discouraging mood shift, which can also be traced back to how my body is reacting to the foods I’m giving it.

But at the same time, I’m not SO far off that I should be feeling horrible consequences, so it’s quite possible this is also just a period of depression I’m entering – and hopefully leaving soon. There’s a lot on my mind, a lot weighing on me, and that plus less than perfect eating habits have me feeling pretty down.

And then add to THAT the insane leg/ankle/foot cramping I’ve been having for weeks and I’m just done. Fuck these dumb legs. The cramps started while nutrition was still on point, so I can’t pinpoint anything I’m doing wrong to cause this, and I can’t fix it, and it hurts to swim, and it hurts to climb hills, and it hurts to run and it hurts to have blankets on and sometimes I just move funny and that fucking hurts, and I’m otherwise healthy as a goddamned race horse, so why fuck does it have to hurt so fucking bad to do the things I’m fully capable of doing? So now I have to get x-rays to rule out a few very unlikely possible causes and I’m nervous AF about it. But I’m calling it my own unicorn hunt so at least it sounds cute.

So I’m crabby. And ranty. And little things are just setting me off. I’m taking things way too personally when I shouldn’t, I’m annoyed by EVERYTHING, and the upcoming switch to my weekend schedule to accommodate an open water swim has me at full breakdown alert.

Imma get some shit off my chest. Here we go.
– I feel like a terrible friend. I am insanely strict with my schedule, and that means going to sleep on time, so I rarely go out and see people anymore. When almost every day starts by 5 at the latest and includes hours of working out in addition to working, finding balance that includes social time is overwhelming and I shut down completely even thinking about it. So I make tons of excuses about not doing things, even though I actually really want to do them. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a friendless Ironman when all is said and done. I hate the pressure of being social, but I really do want to have friends. Social anxiety plus training has taken a toll and I just hope my friends don’t give up on me. I’ve never wanted something as badly as crossing that finish line, and I hope after I do, there are people left to celebrate with me. I’m really scared everyone will give up on me. I’m hard to be friends with on a good day, and these are certainly not good days.

– Worse, I feel like a terrible wife. I am so, so beyond incredibly lucky to have a husband who supports me 100% in this goal and goes out of his way to help me in any way he can. He helps wash water bottles after long rides, helps grocery shop, cook and food prep, takes me for food after long weekend workouts, lets me take naps when I’m sure he’d rather go do stuff, leaves things early so I can get to bed on time, doesn’t go out and keeps me company, gives up things he’d love to do because I can’t go because I’m bound to my training schedule…he is absolutely the most generous, caring and supportive husband in the world. He misses out on stuff all the time because of me. I don’t want to just go do stuff without him, so I completely understand that my inability to attend social functions impacts him directly. He works so hard all day and then works hard to support me when he’s home, and I’m always cranky, overtired, hangry, emotional, stressed about the next training session…I’m totally lame. But I couldn’t do this without him – I need to be better about showing my deep, sincere gratitude for all he does, because I would have given up already if he wasn’t here helping me and encouraging me along the way.

– I feel like a terrible family member. My mom is retiring this year and I can barely find time to help plan her party. My sister has to bear the brunt of the work, and I know everyone is getting really tired of hearing me say “Well, I have to train…” whenever they ask me to do stuff. I love my family, and I don’t get much time with them these days, and that’s hard on all of us. They’re family, and they’re stuck with me, but I feel like a shitty person that I can barely remember to call, text and make plans regularly.

– I can’t talk about the other thing I feel terrible about. And that makes me feel terrible.

– While I recognize I’m doing really well performance-wise this season, I am S-T-R-E-S-S-E-D about my half iron-distance race at the end of the month. If my leg cramp issue doesn’t go away, I’m majorly screwed. And I’m working SO HARD and should PR by a lot, but what if I don’t? Everyone around me is doing so well and I feel so much pressure to perform, and that’s paralyzing. Sooner or later, it’s going to become VERY evident that I am not the athlete some people think I am, and everyone will see what I’m so worried about. (And as it turns out, this is a real thing with a name and everything: imposter syndrome.)

– Yeah, I know, stop comparing myself to others. This goes back to my issue with social media. It is IMPOSSIBLE not to compare your life to others’ when that’s what you see day in and day out. I would do a social media detox, but then I will forget everyone’s birthdays and really fall off the face of the earth, and ceasing to exist doesn’t sound like the way to go right now. While I feel a lot of pressure from everyone being so positive and doing so many awesome things, it’s also the only way I’m comfortable connecting with most people right now. I don’t want to lose the little bit of socializing I DO have by leaving social platforms.

– I am not an inherently miserable human. I love laughing, and I feel fairly content with life most of the time (but ‘content’ isn’t blog-worthy, so I’m generally not inspired to write much when I’m simply ‘content’), so while I like being open about my struggles with anxiety and depression, and how those things mix with Ironman training, I don’t want to discount all the amazing and wonderful things I have in my life. In fact, I find that a lot of my anxiety comes from worrying about NOT having so many great things…which, in its own weird way, is a good problem to have, right? So now that ranting has made me feel a little better, I’ll stop whining. It’s about time to start worrying about that x-ray appointment anyway, so…

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