Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"A whole lotta suck"... a rant from a frustrated athlete...

***Warning- The blog you are about to read is not very upbeat or positive. If you're looking for that today, my apologies. Please ignore this post and try again tomorrow.***

A blown play, a missed putt, a blocked shot, a poor serve, a lousy return, a missed goal... it seems that every athlete has those days. Those days when things that normally come so easily just, well, don't. Some athletes call them slumps, some call them off days. Regardless of what you call them, they all boil down to one thing. Someone isn't getting the job done the way they or others would like.

There could be any number of contributing factors to this "slump" or "off day". Things like stress, poor diet, lack of sleep, poor training, over training, mental fatigue... you get the idea. There are any number of reasons why we just can't seem to do the job the way we'd like. I don't know exactly what it is that is holding me back, but I will be the first to admit that I'm seriously worried about where I am right now with regards to my training. I feel like I have hit rock bottom. I feel like I have regressed to where I was almost two years ago. In just over 6 weeks, I'm slated to compete in the eastern sectional. When I signed up for this, I knew that I needed to start working on my goat list a little more, and try to stay consistant with my appearances in the box.

I also knew that my current schedule was going to wreak some serious havoc on my first few weeks of training. But, I figured once that was done, it would be game on for me. This hasn't exactly proved to be the case. I have stayed consistent at the box (at least 4 wods a week plus a run if I can on Sunday), but despite that, things are not going quite as I had planned. Yeah, ok, granted I put up a hell of an overhead squat PR the other day and PR'd on Josh, but so what? Sectionals, and in general my overall fitness, isn't measured by how much weight I can hold over my head. Being strong like bull is great, but where the hell is it getting me? I can't move well, and that's not a good thing. Right now I'm seriously feeling a whole lot of suck. I apologize for the downbeat of this blog, but the one thing you'll always get with me is my reality. Whether it be perceived or otherwise, I always write about how I feel with wods and life. And to be very fair and very honest, I'm seriously not feeling very confident about my abilities in the box. I'm feeling like there is a whole lotta suck going on.

The wod that we tackled yesterday was a pure metcon. Burpees, pull-ups, and double unders. Fly fly fly as fast as you can. My burpees were slower than molasses and my double unders were so horrific I can barely even express how awful they were. It took me 40 minutes to complete the wod. That would be 25 minutes slower than some of the other sectional atheletes. This concerns me greatly because I know, I KNOW just like Gibb's gut, that they are going to be on the list for sectionals. They're too easy to judge. Either you have it or you don't. They will be there. If it were just a matter of pride within our box, I would not be so worried about the DU's. Yeah I would still care, but just like anything else I've learned, they'll come over time. To be really successful at most of the barbell movements took me over a year. Once I got the form, I was able to start rippin' some weight. But this isn't just about pride in the box. This isn't just about wanting to keep up with everyone else. This is about competing with other boxes in a format where knowing all of the movements is important. If they pull a wod with rounds of DU's, there is no way I will be able to adequately show what I can do, and I will embarass the hell out of my teammates and coaches. This worries me IMMENSELY.

For some reason, I am the only sectional athlete who cannot manage to get herself together. I am the only one who instead of progressing right now is instead falling to pieces. Now is the time that I should be moving forward, not backwards, and I don't understand. For you military types, here is an analogy that I think you will understand. When you roll off the wire, you've got all sorts of extra gear. Kevlar, M-4, kit, body armor, all the good stuff. Added up it adds, what 30 lbs at least? I feel like for the last 3 months, that's what I've been carrying everyday. The constant go go go of my schedule has just lead me to feel like I was constantly carrying around this extra "stuff". Make sense? But I figured that once swimming was over and I could stop carrying that proverbial rucksack of stress around, it would just be game on and my training would go back to how it was before swimming started. I was by no means the speediest of speedies in the box, but I could still hold my own. But instead of feeling more energized, and more rested with all the snow days I've been having (thank you mother nature for the week off), I feel terrible. I feel lethargic, I feel like I can't lift myself (or push myself up), I feel like I can't breathe, I feel incredibly weak, and incredibly sore. I have started to take fish oil, but without being in a normal routine (thanks again mother nature) I'm having a hard time remembering to take it.

I'm a person who relies on routines. I am extremely organized (I have to be with my schedule) and when I'm out of my routine, I have a hard time. When in my routine, I know which bags I need before I leave the house (you laugh, but my life is organized in bags) and what I need to do and have with me before I leave the house each day. I rely on that repetitive nature to help me remember everything. Without it, I struggle. Right now, I'm trying to also switch my diet back to the zone, but again, getting out of my routine has hurt me. Being in the house surrounded by food is hard. I can't keep anything here I'm not supposed to have or it will be, not a one time cheat here and there, but a gorging of oneself. Case and point, I bought ice cream the other day... I threw it away yesterday still half full so I wouldn't eat any more of it. It also hasn't helped that my roommate's mother, who is very nice, was here for our blizzard and baked pie, and magic cookie bars, and dinner....none of which are anything I could or should eat. I turned down most things, or tried to, but I can't lie, I ate horrifically these last few days. And I know I sound like I'm whining, but damnit, this is hard and I'm frustrated. I feel lousy, and feel like a definite failure at the moment.

Right now, I just need to get my thoughts out because keeping my feelings and frustrations bottled up doesn't help. In fact, it just makes me think about it more. (Thanks Jason!) I know no one has the answer. I don't have the answer. And really I guess I can say that I'm not really looking for one because I'm the only one who can figure this out. I'm far from perfect, and I'm sorry I don't honestly know what I'm going to do. I wrote that blog last week about knowing when to throw in the towel, and I can't help but wonder if I should. Maybe I should not compete and just walk away from CF for awhile... maybe that will help me right my head. I don't know. But I know that I need to decide what I'm going to do. If I'm not going to compete, I need to inform CF so that another athlete can take my slot. It's only fair. I've got some thinking to do....


Erin said...

Hey girl. Chin up. You are an incredible athlete and it is ok to have an "off" season, a slump, whatever. It's ok to admit that!

Stress will wreak havoc on your body. If you are really that tired and feeling like you are all out of sort it could be something medical...remember this fall when I literally collapsed after every workout, asthma kicked it, etc? adrenal glands had stopped working. Due to what? Stress. Bad eating=stress on body and insides. Stress, stress, stress.

Stress can kill so work on destressing every day. Worry about the box, sectional diet later. You only get one life, one's too precious to spend it stressed out and miserable.

Katie said...

On an upside Erin, I think we have enough snow now that I could learn to ski...

Justa said...

I just changed my programming. Why? Because I seemed to have stopped making progress in some areas, and seemed to be getting worse in others. Sometimes forcing yourself is the answer. Sometimes it's the problem.

Ya gotta push reset sometimes, Katie. If the added pressure of the sectional is too much, and you have things you need to work on, so be it. Better to come back and fight another day, don't you think?

You're pretty damned stubborn. You know what you should do, but just don't want to do it. I get it. Believe me, I do.

Jason B. said...

Let it out, here and in the box. Don't over-think things and just listen to your body. Cabin fever wrecks havoc on anyone. Your PR's this week show you still have it but you also know what's going on upstairs. You are going to shock yourself and truly be ready for the end of March. Keep venting, keep listening to your body, and keep doing what's right. Don't give up, its not in you.

Regardless where you finish in the competition you will make CFOT proud. DFL is better than DNF which is a whole hell of a lot better than DNS. I am not even starting, as aren't a huge group of others in the box which believe wholeheartedly in you. I, and many others, will be there to support you all the way, including at the competition (unless Erica decides to do something crazy like go into labor a couple of weeks early).

You make me proud...continue to make yourself proud. That's all that matters!!!!

Katie said...

Jason you = very sweet and wonderful! Erica is very lucky but tell her I said she is NOT allowed to go into labor! :)