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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Triathlon Training Tantrums

Four weeks to race day.  My first ever tri... Four weeks until I lose the glasses that protect me from so much and give up and give in and give everything  - plus a drop of sweat.  Four weeks left to jump in the water and push myself.  Four weeks of promises kept.  Four weeks of courage and strength and sleepless nights worrying about disappointing onlookers.  Four weeks of deceivingly slow calm sips of coffee when you're looking and frantic gasping when you've turned away. 

Four weeks to stand up straight and practice the picture pose.  The one you'll see and I won't.  Four weeks of .... waiting, trying, hoping.  Four weeks of training.

Today I swam 1km in the pool beside a boy half my age with perfect form.  His breast stroke was twice the speed of my crawl.  His waves were synchronized in such an intimidating fashion.  The force of his stroke and speed pushed me against the ropes.  It took my breath away and rammed pool water in the tiny intricate spaces of my lungs where only air should be permitted.  I hated it.  I cursed his approach every lap. 

Then the pool cleared out and he moved over to the next lane.  I nearly asked him to come back.  Return the chaos to my swim.  I'm soon to be lost in it.  I'm soon to be stuck in it.  Forcing me to breathe tactlessly, gracelessly and with a hunger that only a labouring woman would know.

I closed my eyes. I swam faster.  I pushed and hoped the clock would stop.  The funny thing is I wasn't racing for a personal best, I wasn't trying to find my limits.  I just knew that my daycare in the gym was about to end.  Hurry hurry... I'm nearly done kids.

It did come out my personal best.  I managed to only throw in 4 laps of breast stroke in 40 of crawl.  27mins. I'll take it.  I'll thank my kids.  Do what you can with what you have.  I had 28mins.... It all worked out.

It came after a bike, a run and a workout.  There was another young man spinning beside me at the gym.  He asked me (during his endless uphill ride in which he never sat down) if I cycle a lot. I do not.  I'm a runner I said.

Who am I to say what I am?  I haven't lived my life yet.  I am anything.  I am everything.  I am transitioning.  Hmm... fitting for tri training.

15km spin today... 25:06min.  I wanted to stay on that bike until he had to sit down.  Until he gave into the need that his legs created and crumbled.  Not to see him fall, but to watch him get back up and try again.  Motivation comes from odd places.  I had 26mins set aside for cycling.  It all worked out.  I'll be there kids.

The treadmill makes me dizzy.  When the only thing that you base your foot strike on it the passing wind, or the sound of others footsteps and then nothing is actually moving... It's problematic.  I climbed the speed in the familiar ladder I was used to.  Only the treadmill was on the other side of the gym, and the sun was glaring on the panel.  Thinking I was at 6.8 I managed to hold 7.0 for a full min. 

Who am I to say who I am?  I haven't lived my life yet.

Run was 3km 15:26mins.  I had 15mins set aside for the run.. I figured.... the spin was faster and I hadn't fallen on my face walking to the treadmill so why not?  I'm on my way kids....

The mat and I share more sweat than I'd care to admit.  The odd time I can catch the glisten of the bead as it reflects off my glasses on its way down.  It speaks to me, it says... I am leaving but you are beginning.  And I wonder... Is this what you see?

Time holds meaning beyond meaning for me.  It's the one thing I do not have any of in my life and the one thing that seems constantly stolen from me.  They say no one can take what you do not willingly give. 

In the mean'time' my bistro set sits unattended, lonely and sullen.  It says stop waiting for someone to make you tea and take your hand and walk you here... come and sit and be still....

This is my tantrum.  This is my training vice.  Time and space..... And a quiet cup of tea.

day 197 of 365 days of running current total 1014.23km

Monday, July 11, 2011

tangled laces...

There are days I close my eyes just to stop myself from trying to see.  That might not make sense, but sometimes letting go is the hardest thing to do.  Do you remember when you were little and riding on the handlebars of your friends two speed bike down that big town hill towards all things dangerous and forbidden.... closing your eyes and just letting go?  Or grabbing that swing rope and taking that last big inhale before swinging out over the water? 

Running for me is like that.  ... Most days.

The days it's not are the days I know something is off.  Then I know it's time to refocus and find myself.  I'm sure I'm here, somewhere lost in sweaty clothes and tangled shoe laces.  So what does a runner do when they need to refocus?

Why they run of course.

They find that long stretch of road, and go when no one is looking or in my case when everyone is sleeping.  They feel the rhythm of their feet pushing the ground away.  They count the blessings of each golden drop of sweat as it drips down their face.  They listen to their bodies sighing with sweet relief for just running - not for a race, not for a dream, not for a someday.... For now.  For here, in this moment... for the greatness that comes from untangling your shoe laces and reigniting the fire under your soul.

Somedays I close my eyes when I'm running, I trust the ground that has always been there, will indeed rise up and greet my feet as old friends.  It's in those moments, when I'm not holding on to anything - that I have everything I every wanted and more.  

365 days of running current total day 192 ... 984.1km