Disappointment & Opportunity

The Dublin City Marathon 2018

It’s not an easy admission to make but I suppose it’s something I’ve known for a couple of months now, that I won’t be making it to the start line of the Dublin Marathon as planned this year. It was always going to be my body’s decision on whether or not I would be able to run it, but considering I’m only returning to light running and training over the past couple of weeks after 3 months of very little activity due to the virus, Dublin is just too soon for me.

My mind is already at the start line of the Marathon but unfortunately my body is lagging way behind, the virus pretty much lasted May, June and July which would have been really important months for training to get to a good base level of fitness, but it just didn’t go my way. I’m pretty disappointed but it’s not my decision and I guess when I look at the bigger picture, I’m just happy that I’m even here to be able to go out running at all.

Yes I could push myself and try it, but firstly, my immune system is clearly not up to scratch yet so I fear that I would keep getting sick if I tried to train for it, secondly, I’m waiting on my return to work date and expect it to be soon enough so again it would not be a good idea to be training for the Marathon during a period where I’m returning to work after being signed out unfit from work for close to 3 whole years.

I’ve accepted that this is not my year, its definitely a huge disappointment but after the few years of hardship my body has been through I’m willing to wait another while longer, and well I already have a back up plan in mind depending on how things go. So it got me thinking, if I have no Marathon to train for this year, how could I best use my time to get back on track for a good year next year? I’m going to use this disappointment to take advantage of an opportunity and simply adjust my focus for the coming months.

Impact Strength & Performance

Having a strong core is certainly an important part of being a runner and it’s something I’m definitely lacking at the moment, so I thought maybe now that I’m not running Dublin this year nor am I back to work, it’s probably the perfect opportunity to get some direction by experts to help strengthen my core and improve my flexibility while I have the time, which will ultimately give me a good base for running in 2019.

My concern about going to a gym for core work was my body being pushed too hard and getting tired from it, but after speaking with the really helpful owner of Impact S&P in Blackrock he listened to my story and my concerns and said he would look after me. He told me he would start slow with me and just take it session by session and just see how I would get on for a trial month so I said I would give it a go. He explained that we would review after each session and even the next day to see how my body felt, and to make sure it wasn’t tiring me out.

I was absolutely delighted to start in there with the personal training sessions this week, I’ve had 2 sessions now and it feels great so far and I’m so happy to be finally getting some direction from experts for strength and conditioning as well as improving my core, and I even got an awesome training tee for training in. So for the next few weeks I will see how I go concentrating on the personal training sessions and bit of running.

  

This Week’s Progress

This week I managed to get 2 good core sessions in at Impact S&P Blackrock, and I’m really looking forward to going again next week.

 

I also ran the 5k Tymon Parkrun which was a lot of fun, well after I crossed the line haha. I even managed to squeeze in under the 26 minute mark with a little help from a friend, so I was very happy with that.

Overall I’m very happy with such a productive week, rest day for me today so it’s time to relax.

 

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Tolerance Levels

My Tolerance Levels

I actually don’t know where to start with this one, it’s not an easy one to explain but it’s something that I’ve noticed since my bone marrow transplant a year ago. I’ve noticed that my tolerance levels with pretty much everything are very low, stress, pain, emotions, patience, just generally all round, but it’s something I’m working on every day to get better at, I don’t have the same tolerance levels as normal people at the moment but I’ll get there.

I’m finding that trying to adjust to normal life again is exhausting, I feel it’s mostly due to lingering fatigue and also the lazy brain issue I mentioned in an earlier blog where I have problems with attention, focus, concentration and memory, it all seems to be interconnected. I want to get back to normality with everything sooner rather than later but at the same time it really takes it out of me so I can only do what I can do.

I go home to visit my parents a lot, especially due to the fact that I’m not back at work yet so have plenty of free time, but I find on occasions when I’m overly stressed and fatigued well I’ll be honest, I march around the house like a grumpy man in bad form, and I hate when it happens. It’s not me!

I was home for my birthday recently and on the morning of my birthday I was tired, anxious, and stressed out which caused me to be in such bad form. I was so anxious about having friends over that evening incase I was too tired or wasn’t able to keep up chatting because it’s something I find difficult at the best of times, especially in the morning and evenings.

Anyway, my grumpiness spilled out that morning and I know my parents noticed, but thankfully they understand, I often apologise to them before I even get grumpy knowing that I’m about to get there, or after I’ve been grumpy. I explain that I don’t mean to be so out of sorts but it’s just that it’s because I’m struggling, but they get it so they always tell me to stop being silly, I’m grateful they understand, and thankfully I ended up having a wonderful birthday with my friends and family.

In relation to any sort of pain, I get so annoyed now when I have to get injections or anything that would cause me discomfort, I was put through so much during the course of the last few years that what use to be just a simple injection is now so discomforting for me because of how much I have been poked at while going through my illness. My thresholds have been smashed. I’m just back from the dentist this afternoon and had to get some work done, I just found it so hard to deal with while I was in there because I just can’t take any more injections, pain or discomfort anymore, I’ve totally lost my ability to cope with things that I wouldn’t have thought twice about previously, even a simple blood test and I just tense right up.

Even emotionally things upset me a lot more, simple things, maybe the way someone might speak to me, or even something I see on tv even affects me, I could be watching tv or a movie and all of a sudden I see something violent and my body physically shakes for a brief moment because it’s a reminder of a fear I have due to the severity of what I went through. Literally any bad news upsets me, it just digs that much deeper when I hear something upsetting.

If someone upsets me it can actually effect me for quite a long time, I don’t brush things off as easily as I would have before, I definitely take things more to heart, it could affect me all day long and especially at night when I’m trying to sleep, I’ve turned in to an absolute softie!

I’ve also realised that when I’m out with someone and it happens to be particularly loud I find it incredibly stressful, I just don’t do well in noisy places at the moment, and I’m talking about even a noisy restaurant. I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I still have attention and concentration issues and I find it so difficult to focus on what people around me might be talking about if it’s noisy, you can actually see the look of distress on my face. Same goes for crowded places, whether it’s walking in town or in a shopping center, I just don’t cope well in crowded places, I feel it’s because I have a lower patience tolerance for some reason, but it’s something I’m working on.

My brain just isn’t up to speed yet, it doesn’t have the same functionality as it did prior to all the treatment, not yet anyway, it seems to be the case that as my brain isn’t fully up to speed yet I just find all these issues a lot more difficult to cope with but it’s slowly getting better, I’ll just take it one day at a time.

It sounds like simple stuff, day to day stuff for any person, but it’s the stuff I find most difficult at the moment, but it’s something I’m working on every single day to get better at, to be more patient and calm, to be more attentive, to be more aware, it is something that at times physically exhausts me and when it does I step back and think well I’m trying my best every single day, and I can only do what I can do and that’s it.

Thankfully the people around me understand that I’m still recovering and still trying to get better so they get it, they get that daily life is a struggle for me but also know that I’m doing the best I can in getting through this very long recovery process.

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This Week’s Progress

FINALLY an explanation!?

It’s been a very unsuccessful few months on the running front, I haven’t managed to get out much over the course of the last 3 months, infact I’d say 2 of those months I barely got to run at all. The ferocious virus I had lasted close to 3 months and in the end turned in to a really bad cold, I was put on antibiotics and now for the first time in 3 months I actually feel strong again, I feel healthy again, and I’m back out running again.

Is this the reason why I just haven’t been right for so many months?

The Vaccination Program

The treatment and bone marrow transplant I had a year ago basically means that my body was wiped clean, I have a new body, it means that any vaccination I have had since being born was wiped, so due to that reason, the hospital provided a schedule of a new vaccination program that I needed to complete. I started it about 3 or 4 months ago and as you can see it’s fairly intensive, it turns out that some of the side effects of vaccinations include fever, shivering, headaches, muscle or joint pain and last but not least, surprise surprise, fatigue.

So it seems that the regular vaccinations may be having an effect on my body, especially considering that my immune system hasn’t built back up yet, but there’s not a whole lot I can do about it for now but at least things do seem to be getting better. This is just another step in this long recovery process.

My Running

I managed to get 3 runs in this week, one of which was the Tymon Parkrun, as well as 1 yoga class so it’s been a really great week, I feel better again, I feel more able now and I’m looking forward to improving my fitness again.

With temperatures of 20 degrees or over the first two runs they were tough enough, thankfully it was a lot cooler for the Parkrun yesterday and although I wasn’t tracking my time, I’m very happy with the result! It’s good to be back and feeling myself again.

Tymon Parkrun

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