Oy, 10 days between posts. Too long.
I was waiting for the end of the holidays that maybe I could take a breath and come back to some semblance of a routine, which would allow me to write more than I have been. I’m so sad to have left my characters in the middle of a plot lull and I want – no, I need – to spend some time with them again.
I miss them.
But I don’t seem to have gotten back any time thus far in 2015, and I’m trying really hard to Be Enough this year. In this case, I am not sacrificing my health – and sleep – in order to steal more time to write.
The time will come back to me, and at that point, I will be able to focus on it then.
At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. 🙂
Since I have declared 2015 the Year of Embracing the Real Me (subcategory I Am Enough) I have approached my training this year with a little bit of a different view.
So last year, when I burned myself out from beating myself up on runs in order to run faster in a marathon (and then ran slower anyway, haha!), I basically stopped racing. I decided that I’d leave my watch home for most of my runs and just aim at a certain number of miles per week. I needed to find a way to stop putting pressure on myself to chase my old pace group and be as fast as I was in 2013.
So I stopped running fast or hard. I just ran.
And my plan was to keep doing this – what runners call base building – this winter into the spring.
Sounds great, right?
Except recently I’ve found myself casting my thoughts about, looking for new goals and PRs and considering things from focusing on the 5k this year to attempting yet another marathon.
When that happens, I’ve started to realize, it’s because I am feeling aimless and stale and it means I need to do something to shake things up.
Back when I was injured in 2012 and couldn’t run, I found swimming to be a very acceptable alternative* to running. I took a triathlon swim class that met once a week, and I really liked it, and then I rehabbed my leg and could run all the time and I was running 6 days a week and so I didn’t really have TIME for swimming anymore.
But just running 6 days a week maybe isn’t the right thing for me now. I think I need to a bit of a change.
So I joined a swim group that meets on Saturdays, run by a coach who is my kind of guy: wisecracking, sarcastic, analytical. I’ve gone twice now, and swam on my own once a week, and I’ve been struck with a feeling that was very similar to when I first started running.
I really LIKE this.
And then I ran with a friend, a runner-turned-triathlete, who mentioned she had signed up for this awesome off-road sprint triathlon in central Massachusetts in June. It has 11 miles of single track mountain biking as the bike course! And wasn’t I into mountain biking a while back? Might be something I should look into.
I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It sounded so FUN.
Before I was a wife and a mom and even an accountant, I used to love mountain biking. I wasn’t amazing at it – especially the really technical stuff, so I told myself that it wasn’t my thing when my ex and I broke up.
But I have really fond memories of the weekend we spent in North Conway, biking the trails, and I think I told myself I wasn’t a mountain biker to maybe distance myself from the hurt and guilt of the relationship’s end.
And the thing is… I have wanted to try a triathlon for a bit now. I own a mountain bike (though technically, it’s Jeff’s, I gave mine away because I couldn’t stand to see it remain in my garage unused, but whatever. I don’t need to buy a bike!). I really like swimming, enough that maybe I can overcome my fear of drowning in open water (and with people at the beginning of a triathlon). I love running, and this tri features a trail run to close it out.
So, with the okay from Jeff and some textal (yes, that’s a term now) support from friends who are triathletes who told me that I could absolutely do something like this… I signed up.
In May, I’m running a 25k in the Pinelands Running Festival, and then in June, I’m doing my first triathlon.
And it has revitalized the way I think about exercise. I’ve been defining myself as a runner for 5 years now, and told myself I didn’t have time to focus on running and do other things like mountain biking or rock climbing (I loved that too!) or hiking, because I needed to run.
That definition, maybe, is too narrow, and I have the strongest sense that broadening my activities – the cycling and swimming and mountain biking and climbing – will help me in the goal of finding ME in all the shuffle.
So here goes. My first triathlon. EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
*Go ahead and laugh at this word choice. But you need to understand just how in love I was with running at that point; there was NOTHING that made me feel like a good run. Jeff jokes that I do other activities to make my running better, and he’s right. Still, though, swimming is something I really enjoy.