10ks, Pool rage and my Inner Chimp

Bike: 442km

Swim: 20,235m

Run: 126

Injury: Hurt my abs, sore knee!

Money raised: £587

The other week started off so well, I had a great ride with a cycling club and I ran my first ever 10k!!!!!!!!!!!

The ‘social/beginner’ ride was great we rode around 12mph and I did 36 miles. It was my first proper experience riding with a club and riding as a group as well.  The conditions on the roads were not great as it was a week after the heavy snowfall so some of the quieter lanes that are usually great for cycling had a lot of debris on the road, floods and massive pot holes.  I was exhausted just by the sheer concentration required.  I had some great coaching at the back and the ride leaders did a great job of keeping everyone together.  The only problem going forward is that they only offer these sessions once a month and I’m not good enough yet for a ‘steady’ ride which ups the pace and the mileage.  I’m really looking forward to the next one.  For cyclists out there who are really experienced, never underestimate how much it is valued to coach another less experienced cyclist.  It’s all about building confidence and I was buzzing after that ride.

Well I was completely taken by surprise by my first 10k. I went out with my usual running club and we went a bit further than usual but the 2 mega hills en route just took my mind off the distance.  I was so surprised to get to 9k and I was nearly home so I made sure I did another KM to get to the 10k.

I know to seasoned runners this doesn’t seem like a big deal but to me it’s massive, huge!   For the many years that I was struggling with pain from Endometriosis, running was never a possibility, even when I did exercise, the pain in my groin was unbearable so to accomplish 10k, just over a year post laparoscopy is amazing.  But (there is always a ‘but’), turns out I really hurt my lower abdominals.  My stomach swelled and I looked 6 months pregnant, it wasn’t pleasant.  It’s an unpleasant reminder that I’ve had by tummy muscles cut into 4 times in surgery.  There is always a sting in the tail somewhere.  I had to take a few days off training to let it settle down and as much as I hate the snow, it did give me chance to rest my poorly abs.  I was also struggling with a cold, sore throat and ears so was pill popping Echinacea all week.

I tried to focus on doing what makes me feel better including meditation, lots of sleep, Epsom baths etc. I also attended a coffee morning at a friend’s about DoTerra Essential Oils and had some samples to try which have been very therapeutic, do look them up, I found it all very fascinating and the smells from the potent and pure oils were unbelievable.   I met an incredibly inspirational lady who now manages her Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia in a more natural and holistic way.  I’m determined to keep helping myself.  I find there are many alternative therapies out there to try and many with great benefits.  Although keeping yourself healthy whilst managing a chronic illness and taking responsibility for your own health is very expensive.   I don’t think we live in world that encourages us to take care of our own health, just pop some painkillers which cost pennies or spend £50 on an acupuncture session?  I totally understand why health care professionals charge so much for their time, it’s their hard earned expertise that they are sharing but this is not a solution for the many who cannot afford services like this.  Again though the debate could lead to, well what do we chose to prioritise?  Is our health something we take for granted?  By having the NHS does that make us expect all of our health care to be for free?  Taking away our individual responsibility in how we live our lives?  I’ve spent hundreds of pounds over the last few years on alternative therapies and private health care.  It’s worth it to me as it has given me a better quality of life but I feel lucky that I had the option.   It does come at a cost to our overall family income though and we’ve had to cut back in other ways.

Anyway back to the training which proceeded to go downhill after my run. I managed a turbo but swimming was a complete disaster.  I’m really struggling to find quiet times in the pool to get 60-70 lengths done to the point where I was having pool rage last week.  I quite possibly had the 2 worst pool sessions ever.  The first session was a club session that just didn’t work out and I quickly aborted so the less said about that the better.  The second session I went to a local leisure centre and was swimming by 8.15am before work.  Everything was going swimmingly (!!), I was in the fast section of the pool and it was only me and 3 others so plenty of room.  Then a gang of young lads came in and it looked like they’d come in post gym for a cool off so of course being young men, they came straight to the fast section, plonked themselves right in the middle of everyone and proceeded to swim (not very well) in everyone’s way.  There were at least 5 of them.  A couple of older men got out in disgust but I had to get my training session in as I’d already missed one swim already that week.  When you’re swimming front crawl, you can’t see anything so I was scared I was going to crash and hurt myself.  At one point when they’d exhausted themselves with 2 lengths of breast stroke, they all lined up against the wall at the end and it was very intimidating.  I just don’t understand why they would’ve done this.  Ideally I’d like to join a club but I don’t think I’m good enough yet, I’m certainly not fast (although faster than those idiots).  It’s not that I want the pool to myself, I don’t mind a busy pool but it’s useful if everyone is there to swim properly and consistently and understands pool etiquette.

After this and my sore abs, I felt really fed up and to the point of chucking it all in. I regularly have people tell me in a very caring way that all of this might be too much for me.  This upsets me in that I start to doubt myself.  What if that is true and I’m putting too much strain on my body?  Why am I bothering to dedicate so much time to this if all I get in reward is pain and pool rage?  I messaged a triathlon friend and had a bit of a moan and she was really helpful with some good advice.  She also said that I should read ‘The Chimp Paradox’, which I actually own but have never read.  She said that my chimp’s cage has been rattled by all of this.  She then went on to describe hers; she’d given it a name and a persona.  It definitely had me laughing and I’ve decided to work on mine to try and recognise the behaviour.  So far I’ve come with this:


Has a tendency towards the melodramatic

Will turn any kind of ache and pain into a catastrophe.

Has ‘imposter’ syndrome.

Is quick to judge, self righteous and is always right.


She thinks I’m old, fat and should stop mess around with a vain attempt at trying to compete in Triathlon when I’m only going to look stupid. I should dedicate more time to being a wife and mother.  Oh and you really need to take up yoga and just be happy with that.

Well, you wouldn’t want to meet her, would you?? As we all do we try and balance our negatives with the more pleasant aspects of our personality. Equally I think some of the attributes above lend themselves to me being driven, focussed, not willing to give up, just depends on what kind of day I’m having I suppose and who wins the inner self talk.  We’re almost talking self sabotage here.  Something to be aware of I think.  We need to be our own best cheer leaders and to channel the negative self talk into something more positive.  I am going to give the book a go as I find the psychology of this very interesting.

I have no control over Endometriosis but I do have control over the way I live my life. I will do this triathlon!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s