The pros and cons of setbacks

Just when you think everything is running along too smoothly (literally in my case) suddenly BAM! Something will come along to throw you off-course.

I felt my shoulder blade pop at the weekend when out running and like the stubborn moron that I am, I carried on and thought it’d be okay. I’ve now spent the last couple of days/nights in absolute agony, taking alllllll the ibuprofen and heat patches I can find.

With only six weeks to go until the half marathon, this setback is making me panic even more that I’ll get behind on my training and won’t be able to complete the route. I’ve started doing that thing where I’ve been reading far too many articles on training schedules and do’s & don’ts and have begun to panic whether I’m doing far too little or far too much.

inspirational quote

As annoying and as painful as it is, sometimes we need set-backs to give us a bit of a shake-up, even if we don’t necessarily appreciate it at the time. Things can’t always be smooth-sailing afterall, life would be too easy (and boring) if it was.

I think sometimes your body also has its own way of telling you “Enough is enough,” and as rubbish as aches/pains/colds are, it’s a warning sign to tell you to slooooooooow down.

So from now on, I’m going to stop panicking (ha, easier said than done) and carry on doing what I was doing, after some rest and my umpteenth salt bath…

How do you conquer set-backs? 


Just Keep Swimming…

There’s nothing better than sitting down on the sofa at the end of a long day with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit…unless you’ve given up on sugar for Lent of course! I’m quite aware that I sound like a little old lady and I frequently find myself now falling asleep in front of the TV/reading a book/on my laptop at the ridiculous time of 9.30 in  the evening, before I am shook awake and manage to stumble up the stairs in a daze.

I relate to the phrase “Living for the Weekend,” more than ever now and count the days down to Friday in order to cram my weekend full of fun shenanigans before Sunday evening creeps in. Gone are the days of staying up until some unearthly hour frantically tapping away at my laptop on Facebook  trying to finish off an uni assignment or going out mid-week with the rest of the Nation’s students to take advantage of £2.50 Jager bombs. I mean, I’m not saying my social life has gone completely out of the window, I guess things just change.

One of the things that I’m grateful about with my 9-5 life, is the routine that I can plan around it. Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m back swimming with the Masters squad and I’m currently on a training regime for my 5K (200 lengths) Challenge for the Swimathon in April. I’m averaging about 120/130 lengths in my sessions at the moment and don’t worry, I’m well aware that I constantly need to step it up a gear each time because for me, the 5K is definitely a challenge, despite having swum since I was a kid.

An indoor pool is always ideal

An indoor pool is always ideal

It’s like any physical challenge, whether you’re doing a Triathlon, the Marathon or the Tour de France, it can drain you mentally as well as physically. When I get in from work sometimes, I just want to put my feet up and pretty much doze for the evening, especially with the arctic weather we’re experiencing at the moment. However, I think a lot of the time, you have to psyche yourself up for these challenges and train yourself into thinking of only the positives e.g. “When I’m in the water, I don’t have to think about anything and I always feel awesome after a session,” rather than thinking “Oh god, I’ve still got another 50 lengths to go and I’m so tired and hungry.” It helps that swimming is second nature to me and it’s definitely my own of therapy that helps me through the week.

I mean of course any challenge that you do is hard, otherwise it wouldn’t be a challenge! You’ll always have good days and bad days with things but use the bad days as a catalyst to kick arse next time. At last night’s session, I planned on doing 120 lengths and I could have just got out of the pool and be done with it for the evening. However, I had ten minutes left and I was so in the zone when you’ve smashed past the mental barrier that can sometimes set you back, that I ended up doing 10 extra lengths on top of my 120. Sounds cheesy, but I felt so much adrenaline afterwards.

The worst thing you can do with anything is to give up completely. I’ve had times when I can hear my own pulse in my head, my breathing becomes erratic, my eyes are red-raw from the chlorine (even with goggles) and I feel like I can’t lift my arms over my head any further. Obviously never push yourself to the point of causing danger to your health and always stop doing anything that causes you pain e.g. muscle pain, cramps, nausea and dizziness etc. Always allow time to recharge your batteries after a session and re cooperate before getting back into the swing of anything too but once you’re back, live and kicking (excuse the pun) get back on track and give it your best shot. At the end of the day, if you try your best at anything in life, at least you know that you gave it your all.

Despite Olympic gold medalist Rebecca Adlington announcing her retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 23 last week, she said:

“If you really love something that never dies and it never goes away. And that’s what it’s like with swimming…I genuinely love the sport whether I’m competing or not. Whatever I’m doing I’ll still love the sport, it’s such a great thing to be part of.”




If you would like to sponsor me for my 5K challenge at the Swimathon, please see the link below. Thank you!