Not to totally jinx myself with irrational exuberance, but after a week of mainly sitting around on my butt, I finally kicked things into gear over the weekend and, in my mind, have sharpened my focus. Funny how signing up for a few races combined with a good, long, challenging ride + a great swim lesson will do that.
After taking a days off due to a quick trip to Chicago for something of a college reunion, I returned to LA totally behind work-wise and feeling a bit 'off' - tired and lacking motivation. This was a less-than-ideal combination for the week. Due to stress and general busyness, I decided that the whole running/swimming/whatever would just have to go on the back burner until I got my proverbial shit together. By Thursday, I was ready to never run again since the sofa had become such a comforting place, but I forced myself out the door on a fairly average run. My legs moved, but the experience seemed quite torturous. Obviously taking an entire week off from running was not a good idea, although it seemed like one at the time!
However, the Saturday ride served as a good reminder for all that is right and good in with me when I make my body move around. Then, on Sunday, I went to a swim lesson! Last year, I discovered that swim lessons were incredibly helpful, not only because I focus on form and speed in a way that I just don't do when I'm on my own but also because they do build my confidence. With that in mind, a 3-week commitment to swim lessons seemed like a good idea when I signed up, but then as the 11:00 am hour grew closer on Sunday, I contemplated forgoing the experience. Again, I felt nervous and shy and awkward (how old am I?), but I decided to deal with it, especially since I had already paid for the class. Minor motivator there. However, it ended up being the best hour of the day. Okay, that might have been the nap in the afternoon, but the lesson was awesome! I knew the instructor from last year's swim lessons, and the hour in the pool was a fun learning experience. Even better, I felt strong! Not on everything, especially when I had to work on my breast stroke technique, for which I now have an 'assignment' - do 300 yards or meters of just kicks at least once a week. Oh my! But it was a great lesson, and I'm now looking forward to my classes the next two Sundays!
Finally, after spending the past two months feeling a bit lost because of a lack of actual 'events', I've turned a corner and now have, for myself, a somewhat ambitious April and May schedule. Nothing too crazy, but I signed up for TWO events! The first, the Devil Dog Duathlon, should be good training for the Wildflower tri. I signed up for this event last year, with that idea in mind, and then skipped it because I was still dealing with a foot injury. I have no specific goal except to enjoy and finish the race on a strong note, whatever that means. I have some experience with the second event, the Mt. Wilson trail race, but not as an official runner, so I am looking forward to an official time this year, provided that I don't fall off the side of the mountain! What is even more exciting, I think, is that I will have somewhat of a partner in crime - Michael will run a 5K while I run, bike, run for the Duathlon and he is officially registered for Mt. Wilson as well. I know that he is faster on the downhill than I, so I'm going to have to be speedy on the ascent if I want to beat him. Nothing like some friendly spousal competition!
It always surprises me what a difference a week or just a few days can make in my mood and overall worldview (weltanschauung). Knowing that there will be at least one race before Wildflower does ease my mind a bit. I've felt a bit lost without any races on the calendar for January, February and March, so knowing that there IS something out there gives me a sense of purpose. I understand that there is a myriad of reasons as to why people do any sort of physical and endurance activity, and I know that my 'racing' chops are pretty small in comparison. However, I appreciate knowing that there is a goal out there, even if it is just to finish or just to beat my time from last year or just to have the experience that I can share with other people!
So, here's to training, here's to events, and here's to staying healthy!