First things first, if you don't already read My Friend M's blog you should add it to your Reader right now (go ahead--I'll wait). If nothing else, you need to read this post, and not just because I'm featured in two--count 'em, TWO--photos. You should read the post because it's awesome and really emphasizes the impact that running and fitness has in our day-to-day lives, and it sheds a light on how important a support system is and what a big difference a community, whether near or far, IRL or online only, can make in helping someone reach their goals. And in the spirit of her post, if you don't do anything else today, encourage someone. You never know what a difference it might make!
So, I didn't do a training recap for last week as promised, even though I did have a pretty decent week. What I'm doing instead--and we'll see if this holds going forward--is to highlight what I've learned this past week. Some of it will be fitness related, of course, but some might not be. It all depends on what I've absorbed!
What I've learned this week:
1. I (still) LOVE SWIMMING. I have always been fond of the water--I was one of those kids who practically lived in their swimming suit from the moment school let out for summer until it started back up again in the fall. I actually remember sleeping in my swimming suit because it didn't make sense to take it off at night just to put it on again first thing the next morning. (I wonder if my mother knew about that?) I took plenty of swimming lessons and got up to the Jr. Lifeguard level, which is the one right before being certified. I know the basic strokes and generally feel comfortable in the water. However, not having done any real swimming for years, I wasn't sure how well I'd take to the water as an adult and doing it for exercise. Oh. My. Gosh. It's like I'm 8 again, feeling the urge to move to the pool and stay there all summer long. Now, I can't say I'm awesome at it--I'm still slower than molasses--but it feels like home and that's good enough for me right now.
2. Just keep spinning. Oh, the bike. I wish I could say I adore the bike as much as I adore the pool. I don't HATE the bike, and it definitely does have it's merits (i.e. cruising down hills), I'm still trying to find my groove. But I've learned how to shift and when to shift and I've learned that when you're at the bottom of a really big hill A) Don't look up and B) Keep moving, because if you stop, you'll never get started again. I might be moving slower than the sparrows are hopping (true story!), but I'm moving. And that's all that matters.
3. It's okay to rest. You'd think I'd know this one after a successful half marathon training program, but sometimes I still need a reminder that the day you take off off is just as important as the days you put in.
4. Take a chill pill, dude. If you read my last post, you might have gotten a sense of how anxious I was feeling about starting my tri training plan. I'm a worrier by nature, and when faced with a new thing my brain goes into overdrive trying to plan/predict/prepare for every possible scenario. Multiply that anxiety by three--one for each sport, of course--and you've got one very high-strung individual on your hands. It took my awesome friends to remind me that it's okay to let it go. So what if I miss a workout? LET IT GO. So what if I don't bike the day it says to bike and choose to run instead? LET IT GO. So what if I don't train at all and end up doggie paddling my way through the swim, dilly-dallying my way through the bike and walking my way through the run? LET IT GO. Interestingly enough, the moment I allowed myself some wiggle room and a little bit of leeway in my training, I started to stay on schedule better than ever. Maybe it's as simple as knowing I have that bit of freedom that allows me to relax and let it go.
I know there's even more to learn, but it feels like enough for this week. And in the spirit of #4, I'm pulling a #3 and taking my rest day option. Six days in a row of working out and a stressful workweek makes for one tired Mom in Motion. Or maybe I'll ride my bike tonight for an easy 30 minutes. I have the option, you know. If I do ride, I'll do it because I want to, not because the schedule told me to.