Monday, December 12, 2011


A dark blog.  Is it ever a good thing?  For me?  Sure, sometimes, if I go on vacation.  Otherwise, usually when my blog goes dark, it's because something in my life isn't quite clicking the way it should be.  I don't like to have a whiny blog, so when my life starts to feel a bit whiny, I stop blogging.

My last post was about quitting my running streak, then...  nothing.

So, what happened?  Well, I did quit my running streak.  Then I didn't run again for 5 days, until yesterday.  I didn't bike at all. I did go to the pool a couple times, but that was pretty much it.  My nutrition went out the window.  I made cookies with the kids, which was fine.  Then, I ate the cookies.  Way too many of them.  I even had cookies for breakfast one day.  Seriously.  Can you say tailspin?

I've just been feeling blah.  Off.  Even before the cookies.  Like I'm putting on face and trying to act like everything is normal.  And it is.  Except not quite.

This time of year is hard for me.  I'm not even going to blame the holidays and all the food indulgences related to them.  What is hard for me is the darkness.  The days are so short and the nights are so long.  I get up and it's dark.  I was driving home at about 5:00pm one day and it was already getting dark.  I honestly think I get a mild case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression).  This darkness gets to me.  And the cold doesn't help.

So, what to do, what to do?

Well, there's the first steps, the easy ones.  Open my blinds when there is light.  Look at the mountains.  My view of the mountains is a "peek-a-boo" view, as the other (expensive) side of the street gets the full view, but fact is, I can still see mountains out my front window - if I open the blinds.  I like mountains.  :)

Get outside.  Spud literally jumps up and down in excitement when he thinks there is enough snow for a snowman.  Now, sadly, we often get the wrong kind of snow (it's powdery rather then sticky), but it doesn't mean we can't still go outside and play in it.

Train.  Seems pretty straight forward.  I feel the most alive when I am getting some serious training in at least once a day, twice is better.  The timing of this is pretty good actually.  I have my coached swim session this evening, then tomorrow, I have a garmin testing session (where I'll run about 40 minutes.  That much closer to my 910xt!), and I'll be going to spin class.  So, I have solid commitments, giving me a good start to getting back into a routine.

I've been depressed before, and I'm not there yet.  I'm kind of on the edge though.  For me, it's a cyclical thing: my actions (or lack thereof) can lead me further into it or help dig me out.  Exercise is like a drug, a good one.  Time to get on it, full force.

Only 10 more days till the days start getting longer again!

How does winter and darkness affect you?  Is it a bad sign when your blog goes dark?

HBBC - Getting back to it!
Sunday's points: 3 (2 mile run, f/v)
Week to date: 3
HBBC points from last week: 28
Total: 97


  1. I got good news and bad about the day lengthening. The 22nd will be about a tenth of a second longer than the 21st, but then the lengthening itself will increase by 4-5 seconds per day, hitting a maximum rate on the spring equinox.

    More good news: while the winter soltice happens early on the 22nd, sunsets actually start to get LATER on the 16th! The bad news is that sunrises don't start to get earlier until early January.

    This is because Earth does not travel in a circle around the sun. It's an ellipse and Earth is closest to the sun on January 4-5th (perihelion) and moving at its fastest speed.

    Good News: this makes winter the SHORTEST season in the northern hemisphere and summer the LONGEST!!

    Winter is 88.9 days and summer is 93.6!!

  2. I often feel the same way but it is usually in the beginning of the year. Right now I am too excited for all the Christmas festivities to be too affected by the darkness but come Feb/March I am SICK of it.

    Don't feel too down about the cookies and the training breaks.

  3. I hate this time of year and struggle with getting my exercise in for one reason or not really having anything I'm training for doesn't help either.

  4. I think this may help.
    Think of the amazing accomplishments you've done this year. Its been a DOOZY of one, with so much to be proud of!
    And then think about enjoying this as some down time until you start back in training season. While training 1-2x daily is awsomely addicting (I am one of those people), its also just as dangerous when you can't find the time to get in those workouts. Your mind plays tricks and thats when you need to dig deep and just think of being here "NOW" and enjoying your family time more or whatever you like to do (non fitness related).
    Its a vicious cycle but don't beat yourself up for a few days...when before it used to be more than a few days. Your amazing. Don't EVER forget it.

  5. I definitely feel your pain on the darkness. The hard part for me is that even when it is "daytime", it is often quite gray and dim out during winter here. I remember the first time I was in Denver in winter and couldn't get over all of the sunlight they got! Made up for the snow! The longer days can't come soon enough for me though. We've had a very mild fall so I'll thank God for that!

    The HBBC has been helping me keep my blog lit up as I try to post every day or two so that I can keep track of what I ate and what I did to get moving. but I noticed when I added up last week's points that I am slowly going down (38, 30, 27) so I need to find my groove again. Eating better and exercising more - the inability to just go right out my front door in this weather makes the exercising tougher for sure.

    ((HUGS)) Hang in there and do what you can to fight off the winter blues.

  6. we don't have quite that much darkness but until you wrote it I had not considered the "being inside" may be contributing to my own blahs! Lets get out there girl!

  7. It takes a tremendous amount of energy - and a massive time commitment - to sustain regular training. The exercise itself as well as the related laundry, planning, cooking and so on. Sometimes a break just happens, and that prevents this lifestyle from becoming a real grind. Don't feel guilty - enjoy the brief pause and then you can go back to where you want to be with renewed energy and enthusiasm.

    Yes, get outside. Making snowmen is excellent strength training, and the fresh air will do you good :-)

    Are you getting enough vitamin D? Might not be a bad idea to supplement this time of year if you're only getting daylight in short snatches, and only on a few patches of exposed skin.

  8. I kind of enjoy the darkness when training. It's just me, wrapped in a blanket of black with nobody around. The loneliness is comforting. I'm the only one out there. It's just me and the road. Meanwhile the competition is indoors curled up on the couch under a warm blanket making excuses. Suckers. We'll see how that works out for them come race day ;)

    Just get 1 workout in. Then make it 2. The momentum builds fast and it gets easier. As soon as you miss just ONE then you lose that momentum. I'm always afraid to miss a workout because I'm scared of losing momentum.

    One of the many lessons to learn on the road to Ironman. :)

    I like 'True Falcon' comment about the sunsets and days getting longer. That's a big help thanks!

    Oh and the only sucky thing this time of year - I've lost my tan. I'm a pale milky white and it's nasty. Contemplating hitting a tanning studio lol!

  9. i don't find the darkness bothers me, but this time of year really saps the energy out of me! all the parties, social things, and lack of exercise in particular really gets me down...i'm a creature of habit and i like routine, so when i'm off my schedule i get a little off. i also do find it hardd to stay motivated when i don't have anything specific to train for...i thnk i'm still suffering from post marathon blues!