Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

Monday, August 2, 2010

Done for the Week: Still Training After All These Weeks

Last week was a trying one, mainly because of the time spent on anxiety.  For anyone who hasn't had that particular thrill, it amounts to a lot of time feeling lousy.  In between minor out-of-the-blue terror attacks (terror, not terrorist),  I exercised, ate small frequent meals, failed at sleeping, and worked at not biting the heads off the people I love and live with.  Not my most productive period.  But if I am to believe some of those writing about my time of life, this experience can be seen as an opportunity to "finally, really grow up," to "awaken to my life's purpose," and to "let everything become my teacher."

Despite the lofty promises of its outcome, I can't say I'm really enjoying this course.  However, I did manage to get the following done last week:

Done List--Week of July 26-Aug. 1

  1.  Finished Week 11 of revised 14-week Sprint Triathlon training plan--3 weeks to go!
  2.  Continued assembling tri gear
  3.  Finished The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, by Alexander McCall Smith; Sabbath:  Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy   Lives by Wayne Muller; When We Were Romans, by Matthew Kneale
  4.  Spent time dealing with effects of medication change--extra resting  
  5.  Continued my two part-time paying jobs
  6.  Published 5 blog posts
  7.  Meditated 5 times
  8.  Wrote 5 Gratitude Journal entries
  9.  Wrote 5 Morning Pages
  10.  Continued cleaning campaign
  11.  Continued mini yoga practice 
  12.  Attended 1 yoga class
  13.  Took my husband away for his birthday weekend; read, slept, biked, relaxed, walked; continued    reading aloud Elizabeth George's Deception on His Mind                                   
In red above is last week's most important accomplishment, something I've been putting off for far too long.  Unfortunately, my anxiety came along for the ride, but I did manage to leave my teenagers without the obsessive worrying I have experienced, and all too often for good reason, in the past.  A watershed event of our late parenthood.  And something to be repeated soon.

Last week's focus goal, and my focus goal for the next three weeks, was/is to continue training and preparing mentally for the triathlon, in three weeks.   On Sunday, I arrived home from our weekend away to find that my Size XS wetsuit had arrived--but not at my house.  UPS had delivered it to a neighbor, and I had received his King Size something-or-other.  We made the trade, so now I am ready to join a group of tremulous initiates at my first open water swim clinic on Tuesday evening.  (I don't know where my neighbor will be with his package.)  I am trying out "gels," which are little foil packets of quick energy food--something like an astronaut might relish, I imagine--and have tested my new "hydration system"--a Camelback water bottle held in a mesh sack suspended by a strap across my front, which allows me to drink while biking, without falling off.  

My times are holding fairly steady, around the tortoise mark, but my endurance is still increasing.  On Saturday, I will receive instruction in setting up for transitions (T1 from swim to bike, and T2 from bike to run) at an all-day triathlon prep camp.  I am awaking at night with visions of lining up with my wave at the race start, and refusing to get into the water.  I train, and rest, and talk about the tri.  I am enjoying the process less, and starting to feel the shortening countdown.  

Striving to reach this goal is like nothing I've ever done before.  The biggest thing to work on at this point is my head.  I am trying to come up with visualizations (one I encountered is thinking of fear as a balloon that you've held tied to your wrist since childhood, and of letting it go, blowing it away as you breathe through the events, up and away like those balloons I've seen released at funerals. . . . Oops!  Skip that last part.).  And mantras.  My daughter suggested modeling Stuart Smalley's affirmations (performed by SNL's now U.S. Senator Al Franken)--"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and, doggonit, people like me."  But that's just silly.  I came up with "I'm strong enough, I've trained enough, and gosh darnit, people like me."

But enough about the tri.  I'm late for a training run.

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