Nicole Antoinette’s weekly email series “Notes of Grit and Grace” is back and her first week’s topic was exactly what I needed to read. It was about appreciating the moments as they are happening, not waiting for your future perfect life to start, or getting so excited about the next thing (see my last post) that you forget the days in between. She says it better than me, so here’s a quick excerpt:
… I have a tendency to categorize certain things as my “real” life and other things as just temporary, but the truth is that every moment is your real life. Whether you’re on a beautiful hike or crying over a breakup, whether you’re laughing or pooping or working or reading, whether you’re excited or bored, angry or aroused—it’s all your real life.⠀
Every minute. ⠀
Don’t you dare miss it.
I landed in Portland and it rained for three days straight. Summer isn’t sticking around.
Right now I’m on a short break from running. It’s my one vacation for the year. I don’t cross-train or try to fill the time with other physical activities (well, maybe hikes or dancing, but not planned exercise). I want to go back to training a bit antsy to get started. Then for about a month I’ll be on my own getting back to running, at which point we’ll start meeting for workouts.
I try to use this time to reflect on the season, take stock of what went well and what I’d like to improve, and put plans in place for implementing changes. ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀
This isn’t only about workout specifics, all of that will go through talks with my coaches. I’m interested in the background system and habits, in any hiccups that arose, and planning how to avoid those. Were there trends in injury or illness that I could use to anticipate next year issues, to avoid repeats? What PT or prevention habits might help? Did my diet support my training goals? If I deviated from my plan, what cause that? And so on down the list… from mind space to morning routine.
Of course not everything is controllable. I don’t see the value in regretting events that are part of the normal human process. Injury and illness; distraction or decision fatigue; boredom, loss of motivation. That stuff is going to happen on the path of any long-term goal. The point here isn’t to beat myself up. But rather to identify where I faltered, if I can learn from that experience and put guardrails in place for next time. It’s about putting myself in the best possible position to succeed.
As athletes, it’s arrogant to believe that we can anticipate or avoid every error. But it’s similarly prideful to think we can ignore past signs or self-awareness and still be our best. I need to be able to ask for help where I fall short, which means being able to identify shortcomings to start. And I need to give myself a lot of put ups along the way, a reminder that even if it’s not perfect, it can still be good.
The motto for now and for ever: Believe in yourself, know yourself, deny yourself, and be humble.
10 years ago I spent a summer living in the mountains around CO Springs, helping repair trails and learning about local ecology with a program through Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI). Now I’m back in the Springs, a few miles from the RMFI office, training at the US Olympic Training Center.
I’m probably not summiting any 14ers on this trip, but I’m aiming towards other mountains. South Colony Lakes Basin is still my happy place. It’s part of my meditation before every race. I loved that time, and I love this one. Life is a ride, and I’m here for it.
This week was all about getting healthy. I cut my mileage, and didn’t do workouts. That actually timed really well with crappy weather in Portland. It snowed a bunch, so the team wasn’t meeting for workouts anyway.
Also, I made an appointment with my PCP as soon as I got back (*plug* I have a primary care physician now for the first time since childhood and it’s GREAT, so much better than the scattershot approach with visiting urgent cares. Thank you to Julia and Emma for suggesting that I establish a relationship😘❤️). We tested for pneumonia, which I guess is a worry this year if you have chest congestion after the flu. Thankfully nothing there. Other than that, blood-work shows high lymphocytes, which just indicates fighting a virus. Sucks that there’s not much to do in that case aside from rest. But I did rest!!
Runs over the weekend felt better. The altitude boost is in effect. My legs are kind of achy still, but I’m hoping that continues to improve. And I’m looking forward to getting back on a group schedule this week.