[Men, if you do not want to read at all about female "issues", stop now. You've been warned. And sorry, dad. This might be more than what you want to know. But it's just the way the body operates.]
All this is ok. What made it a good day was that I finally started my period. TMI? Well, let me tell you a little bit about how this affects my training. The three to five days leading up to this day are HORRENDOUS! I'm fatigued, bloated, eating my weight in food. My face breaks out. I'm moody. (Ask Judi or Ryan about my attitude at the TT the other night). I cry reading blogs or Runner's World stories. I don't want to train. My pain tolerance is diminished. My speed is non-existant. I'm sluggish. I feel as though I've grown a spare tire around my middle. Being in aero is uncomfortable. I'm self-concious about running in just my sports bra. All I want to do is lie on the couch and eat pizza. or cheesecake. or ice cream. This doesn't help feeling like a heifer.
Of course, I force myself to train anyway. I go out and do speed work despite these things. I get out of bed and go to swim practice...sleepy. I come home and go out for a run and sweat instead of sitting on the couch. And then I eat my weight in fajitas or hummus or baked sweet potatoes. And then, I sleep for nine long hours.
Last year, training for my first iron distance, I learned that there were times when I just needed to take a day or two off. I'd be so testy and exhausted, falling asleep at my desk and reaching for food when I wasn't hungry, my body's way of telling me it's in dire need of energy. You know what I'd find? These days of essential rest always fell within this PMS (men, if any of you are still reading, PMS is PRE menstrual syndrome. so many of you assume it means DURING the actual bleeding) period.
The strange thing is that once I actually start, it's like a release! And while it's a minor annoyance, I regain my strength, speed, energy, pain tolerance...and within a couple days, I feel as though I've lost five pounds.
October 24, 2008 was the day before the Great Floridian Triathlon, my first full iron distance race. FedEx had misplaced my bike and it never made it to FL. I had a donut and coffee for lunch. Two hours before bike check-in ended, I was still being fitted for my rental. I was exhausted, frazzled. On the way to the supermarket to get dinner (takeout sushi. so gross), I commented that the only thing that would really top all this off was if I started my period in the morning. We had dinner at 9pm and I slept HARD that night.
And guess what I woke up to? Yep. Aunt Flo! And I had a great race. There was no point at which I wanted to quit or felt as though I couldn't finish. It just didn't hurt. I had energy and endurance. And I didn't feel as though I needed to shed seven pounds before I could ride well. For my first IM, I finished in 12:11, which left me very satisfied.
So, I guess it's no surprise that the TT on Tuesday seemed to hurt worse. And my time was 8 seconds slower. I guess it makes sense that all I've wanted to do the last couple days is eat and sleep. It's natural that I've swayed between Bitchy Betty and Debbie Downer. I suppose it's only natural that my legs feel better today after riding than they did before. All these freakish hormones pumping through my veins!
Let's just hope this means I race well on Sunday. Especially since it's my birthday :)