Thursday, February 23, 2012

Presence in Another Venue

I've posted quite a bit recently about presence. My one word. My focus for 2012. I've talked about presence at work, presence at home, and presence with the kids. I've been practicing my Momfulness meditations that focus on presence. I've definitely made some progress.

However, I realized this week that even with all of this practice and focus, I've completely lost being present in what is an important part of my life again. Running, training, getting back on track to triathlon in June and September and to run an 8k in a few weeks and possibly a half marathon in the fall. One of my Facebook friends posted a link to the most wonderful post at another runner mother. She talks about staging a comeback and how much true strength it takes to not go "balls to the wall" in the first few weeks back into training.

Oops. Yes, even though I know better and even though I have promised myself otherwise, I have gone a bit overboard, and I had to acknowledge this twice this week. On Tuesday morning when I could barely walk because of an intense leg workout I did on Monday. And then again yesterday (with still sore legs) when after pushing myself to run a mile in 10:16 with Rowan in the jogger, I totally burned out and could only run/walk mile two in 12:06.

It hasn't helped that yesterday I dug around and found old race times online. It hurt my ego to see that in 2008 at the Yorktown Triathlon, I ran my 5k at a 9:48 pace... after a solid 650 meter swim time and 12 mile bike time.

The beginning of the run during the Yorktown Tri, 2008

Needless to say, I felt very defeated and discouraged last night. I'm in a hurry to get back to where I was. And another runner mother is so right when she says that that you just can't pick up where you left off, which I know, but I also need to acknowledge to myself that I also won't get there in 4 weeks, either.

None of this fretting and comparing is accepting where I am right now. It isn't being present with my current fitness level, with my body's capabilities, with my mental strength. None of this is being present with the progress I have made in the last four weeks. I haven't been enjoying these moments of training, breathing them in, and staying present. I've only been able to focus on the person I was and what she could do four years ago, not the person I am now: slightly slower, a little older, but definitely smarter. Smart enough to know that I need to slow down and realize that I will get there again, to know that it's okay that I'm just not there yet. It doesn't make me less of a person, less of an athlete. It takes so much more mental strength to control your impulse to push yourself too far beyond where you are. It's a slow, building burn that is needed here in training, not a big explosion.

Funny that this resonates with my post from last week-- it's the small things, the small victories that I need to recognize and celebrate here, too.

So let me celebrate where I am right now.

In the past 4 weeks...
I've averaged 4-5 workouts a week.
I've shaved 2 minutes off of my 5k time when running solo.
I can run 2 miles consistently while pushing Rowan in the jogger (except for yesterday...).
Even though I died afterwards, I ran a 10:16 mile with Rowan in the jogger.

And you know what? That has to be good enough for me right now. It's the best that I can do with where I am. I will make improvements as I continue to train, but I need to do so smartly.  Otherwise I know I risk burnout and injury, so I'm taking a break tomorrow and probably Saturday, too. Maybe I'll throw in some light Pilates or yoga (part of my 40 day goal challenge!) to stretch my muscles and to practice being present.

I know from before that this is a wonderful journey. Pushing myself both mentally and physically and feeling the joy that comes from each success. I don't want to miss it by being too preoccupied with the end result.

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