Monthly Archives: January 2010

1/30/10 It ain’t over until it’s over

Saturday.  Well today’s big lesson is just because a day starts out crappy doesn’t mean it will end that way.  Both parents not doing well this morning.  Was hard to tell who was looking worse.  Wasn’t boding well for a good day.  Spent the  morning taking care of parents and house.

In the afternoon I was off for another session at the tennis club.  My legs were still kind of shaky from yesterday.  My plan was to do 1 hour of tennis drills and then 1 hour of running.  Yeah that didn’t happen.  Pretty quickly into the workout I felt like I was failing.  He was doing the same thing as he did with me yesterday — basically he stays at the net and runs me back and forth.  I have to hit it down the line four times in a row and then it is in play.  I try everything in the book to get it past this guy but I have to hit about ten balls before I ultimately miss. Start again going cross court.  No break.  No stopping.  Every once in a while I have to put my hand up — wait I need to catch my breath.   My legs felt like logs.    By 45 minutes I cried uncle.  I just couldn’t run that much anymore.  He moved back to the baseline (so the balls don’t come back so fast).  We just did baseline rallies for the last 15 minutes.  I told him I wanted him to work me out — I got what I asked for.  He says I was running well.  I know I could do better.

After the tennis I put on all my running clothes and headed over to the Ironhorse trail (nice and flat).   I looked at the thermometer in my car.  20 degrees.  Are you kidding me?  Then it changed to 21.  Very funny.  Please let there be no wind.  I lasted a grand total of ten minutes.  It was so cold I thought I was going to pass out.  I just couldn’t do it.  Maybe because I got so hot running around indoors I was more sensitive to the cold but I just couldn’t.  The cold was piercing my bones.  While my legs felt like shaky like jello yesterday, today they felt like rocks.  I didn’t have it in me to run.  I was not as pleased with my performance on the court either.   Uncle.

Ran a few errands and got home to see smiles on Mom and Dad’s faces.  Physical Therapist came while I was gone and Dad aced everything.  He did all the new exercises.  He used his walker.  He didn’t give any arguments and he was smiling again.  He was awake and aware and humming to the radio.  The PT said he did great.  His face looked better, his color looked better.  Mom was happy.  Everyone happy.   What a change from how the day started.  Just goes to show,  just keep trying you never know. 

Tomorrow should be a quiet day.  No nurses, health aides or PT’s.  Quiet house.  I have one more tennis workout and then I come home for a 2 hour indoor bike.    I’m okay with just working for the first hour and then just spin out my legs.  I’ll just do what I can.  As usual I think I am capable of more than I really am.  But today has demonstrated you don’t really know what the day will bring.  Just get up and do the best you can.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

I’m hopeful and optimistic.  Let’s bring on tomorrow and shoot for the best.

Namaste

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
James Allen

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1/29/10 A New Routine

Friday.  Definitely a little better today.  I see improvement in my Dad (or am I just looking for improvements?)  We’re all struggling to adopt new routines and for someone with dementia just changing the furniture around can cause confusion.  Stubbornness came into play today too (and it wasn’t just me this time).  We have to be careful to not force too many changes at once.  I’m choosing to take today as hopeful.  It is still a lot of work for everyone involved but we did it and it wasn’t that terrible.  Very slowly we are building schedules and routines that can work for everyone.

I just need to give a shout out to the Farmington Valley Visiting Nurse Association.  I think these people are amazing.  They have nurses, home health aides or physical therapists coming almost every day.  The nurses talk directly with his doctors at UCONN Medical and everybody seems in synch.  UCONN called us every day for a week after Dad was sent home to check on him.  I feel truly blessed that these people are helping us because I don’t know what we would do without them.

I got some sleep.  Thursday I crashed in the middle of the afternoon and took a 2 hour nap!  I went to fold some towels and fell asleep on the bed only to wake up two hours later with the a towel still in my hand!  Then I had to run another zillion errands while the ice storm hit.  But then I got another 7 hours last night and I definitely slept.  There is nothing better on earth than a good night’s sleep.  It feeds all fitness.   The world looks brighter after a good rest.

I called one of my old racquet clubs where I used to play and asked for a pro to run me around.  Careful what you ask for because you might get it.  My heart rate was at 146 (10k race pace HR for me) for the entire hour.    I had to put my hand up in truce several times because I just couldn’t get any more oxygen in.  No matter how many balls I hit I looked up there he was with three more tennis balls in his hand ready to go.  I ran non-stop for an hour.  I was thrilled that I was able to do it.  (Frankly only because I didn’t work out Wed or Thursday was I able to do it.)   I think he enjoyed making me suffer.  I was positive my coaches would have liked the workout too.  My legs feel like jello.

I’m going to work out with him Saturday and Sunday as well.  I’m going to to do my long run after tennis (because I won’t be able to move on the court if I go before).  I’m figuring I can shorten my long run a little if I do the tennis first — pre-stressing the legs with sprints.  There is a running trail right across the street from the tennis club.  Sunday we have a long indoor bike which I will do after tennis again.  My legs will be shot by the end of the weekend but I strangely welcome it. 

I felt some endorphins today.  I need to workout not just for training but for sanity.  Tennis is a like a sibling.  We argue a lot but in the end we have one another through thick and thin.

I’ve also been doing yoga.  I’m on a two-day streak.  I have a vinyassa yoga tape that I’m doing when I wake up.  Day one was a disaster.  I hadn’t stretched in a long time.  And the first downward dog involved a lot of barking.  But I will say this, I’ve been having some shoulder issues since the last time went x-country skiing in December and landed on my ass (and back).  It felt like I had rebroken my scapula or something because it was sore a lot just like it used to be after I broke it in my bike accident.  After the first day of the yoga tape my shoulder felt miraculously better.  The tape does a bunch of shoulder stuff and lots of twists and turns.  I think it fixed my shoulder.  This morning’s plank was already better than yesterday’s. (Okay, that’s not saying much.)

I’m staying here through Monday so I can help the home health aides tackle Dad into submission.  He doesn’t want to do anything we say.  It’s taking a lot of cajoling and bribery.  But as stubborn and determined my father is to resist change, I am my father’s daughter and I won’t quit either.  He actually smiled again today and he’s staying up almost until my bedtime (which is not very late, lol). 

I am grateful for all my friends and family and coaches who have been giving me support.  It is important for me to not give up on my race dreams.  They keep me going.  If I quit believing that I will do Ironman I will quit everything.  I need to believe.  Ironman isn’t the challenge, the journey is the challenge and finding ways to be where I need to be and do what I need to do.  My father would want me to fight for it.

Namaste

I wrote about my Dad in 2007 in this blog.  Instead of repeating myself I will just repeat the link http://sportsrlife.wordpress.com/2007/08/26/82607-peaceful-warrior/

This is a quote from my yoga tape.  It starts with a mediation section before it begins the torture.

“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice. It will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”Frantz Kafka

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1/27/10 Changes

Wednesday.  Haven’t had time to breathe never mind blog.  I’ve been thinking and observing — trying to take something away from this experience.

In a nutshell my Dad seemed better.  I came back to NYC on Monday.  Played a game of tennis on Tuesday (got my butt KICKED but it felt good to play hard!) This morning my Dad was not good again and now I’m back in CT.  Mom and Dad seem more tired than I am (if possible).

Driving up to CT I couldn’t help but feel like I’m in a weird place between cities, between goals, between duties.  I’m caught between fighting to hang tough and remembering to lean in.  I’m aware I’m having difficulty in focussing.  Little details slip through my mind, I have been making lots of little mistakes in my work, very fast tennis balls fly by my head before I even register that they are coming over the net.  I have zero reaction time on and off court. 

I worked out a lot last week in CT.  Monday, Wed and Friday and Sunday I ran (nothing great at all).  Tues, Thurs and Saturday I rode (strangely difficult).  My best run was on Wednesday.  I was exhausted by Sunday when I tried to do a ten mile run and it just ended up a mess.  At the 2 hour point I just crawled back to the car kind of disgusted with my lack of strength.  I was just too tired.  I was jealous of a group of women who were running down a hill as I was huffing and puffing my way up.  Too tired, so very tired. 

Food tracking has been terrible.  I haven’t tracked anything in almost two weeks.  Strangely I didn’t gain any weight when I checked in on my scale in NYC.  But I can’t tell you if I’ve been eating too much or less or what.  I haven’t written it down and I’m not sure what my daily calories have been.  I’m aware of lots of little infractions but no big crimes.  I went shopping and bought some go-to foods so take some of the think out of it.

It would be easy to say hey, let it go.  This is a time of family need.  But in reality keeping going with workouts and tracking would give me a hand rail. 

Today I wasn’t able to work out — too much going on.  Praying for a good night’s sleep (and other prayers accepted as well.)  I’m hoping everyone wakes up tomorrow feeling refreshed and I’ll take my bike out because it looks like the only day when the temperature will be over 30.  This is a very long winter.  Okay we are coming up on a long year.  

My mantra is focus.  Watch the ball.  Stay in the moment.  One step at a time.  Be grateful.  Receive happiness.

Namaste

“The ideal attitude is to be physically loose and mentally tight.”
Arthur Ashe

lol, right now I am the exact opposite, physically tight and mentally loose.  Working on turning that around.

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1/18/10 The Best Laid Plans

Monday.  All weekend I kept thinking of that Burns quote “the best laid plans of Mice and Men often go awry.”  I”m exhausted and even though I’ve been getting seven hours of sleep I just can’t seem to rest.  My Dad is in the hospital and I rushed up to CT on Friday.  He had to have a stint put in the main artery to his heart.  He seemed okay after the procedure. They wanted to keep him overnight for observation.  I thought he looked pretty good.  My brothers and I proceeded to reorganize the house to make everything easier for him.  I was tired but okay.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to get any workout in on Saturday but my plan for Sunday was to pick up my Dad, get him home and hit the trails for 2 hours.  Yeah, right.  That didn’t happen.  This is the first time I have been exhausted since Thanksgiving. 

Sunday we went to pick him up.  Everything seemed okay (he didn’t look as good as he had on Saturday) but they were ready to let him go home.  We were delayed while waiting for the visiting nurse association to call us back.  While we were waiting he had some kind of seizure and lost consciousness.  I was suddenly in an episode of ER.  People pushing us out of the room.  Nurses and Doctors flooding in from everywhere.  I sent the rest of my family to the waiting room and I stood by hoping to catch a glimpse of my Dad but they just drew the curtain shut and 4 doctors and 4 nurses were all around the bed.  They said he would be okay, not to worry but they would keep him another night.  Ya think?  All I could think of was what would have happened if we were on the way home in my car?  I don’t know what I would have done.

By the time we got home it was late afternoon, family coming over to welcome Dad home.  Where’s Dad?  Questions, questions, questions.  I’m exhausted.  I can’t answer any more questions.  We call the hospital, he is doing okay, sleeping.  I am sure everything will be fine when I go back to pick him up this morning.  Let me just sleep.

I had such hopes of trying to get a run in or something to help de-stress if nothing else.  I’m just too tired.  I couldn’t figure out why I was so tired, I got 7 hours sleep each night.  I realized it was mental stress taking its toll.   You don’t really sleep if your mind is turning, turning, turning.  Okay, I get it mental stress.  You will just need to meditate a little more.  I laughed at myself.  Problem – fix.  That’s how I think.  It’s actually a very male trait.  I’m much like my dad Mr. Fix-it I used to call him.  He used to be able to fix ANYTHING.  Cars, dishwashers, broken furniture, plumbing, electrical outages, furniture — there wasn’t anything he could build, fix or remodel.  I’m not quite as good as he was but I have the same approach to life, what’s the problem?  Here’s the fix.  The more I have to wallow in stuff the more depressed and unhappy I get.  Intangible problems are the worst for me.  Give me a computer to fix, no problem.  Wait while they fix my Dad?  Not so good. Come to think of it, I’m just not good at waiting, period.

In some attempt to gain control over my disintegrating weekend I kept fantasizing that all was not lost.  I was sure I would fit a 2 hour bike in at midnight.  I’ll get up at 5 a.m. and run in the dark.  That’s what the really tough people do.  They have kids and jobs and they get up at 4:30 in the morning and run in the dark.   I have everything here now that I need to train.  I have my old bike Sylvia who I brought in from the barn last night.  (I think she was smugly smiling at me as if to say “I told you I would not be left out here for long.  Where are those fancy New York bikes now?”)  I have my bike trainer that had already been in my car for training camp.  I have running shoes, yoga tapes.  Everything I need.  I can remodel the house, drive to the hospital, monitor my Dad, look after my mother and train for an Ironman.  Oh and I’ll make sure to make a donation to the people in Haitti too.  But right now I’m exhausted so I can’t even think about doing anything but going back to bed.   I propped the bike against the wall.  I’ll come back later.

I keep redoing my workout schedule in my head.  Okay you missed 4 hours on Saturday and 2+ hours on Sunday.  You can do two hours here and two hours there. Oh but then we’ll be into Tuesday and I have to do those workouts and forget it I’m so far behind I’ll never catch up.  I keep thinking what to do?  What to do?  How do I fix this problem of having lost time and being exhausted. But training for an Ironman.  What would I tell someone else?  What would I tell one of my WW buddies? I think of my friend who is just out of surgery for a hysterectomy.  I think of my other friend who lives for rubgy (girls of a different generation) and is hobbling around on crutches with a repaired ACL.  I think of all my friends going through one illnesses or stress after another and think what would I tell them? 

First and foremost, I would say. 

1.  Prioritize and get perspective.  There is no doubt in my mind that taking care of my Dad and family is more important than any Ironman.  That said, training can be a great release and actually make you feel better.  There are people in Haitti with much bigger problems.  Don’t dwell on this, let it come in it’s own time.  “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:”

Then I would say,

2. be realistic.  4 hours may just not be a realistic number.  20 minutes may be all you get in the day and if that’s what you get, that’s what you get. Take your 20 and be grateful.  Take as many 20’s as you can get.

3. It’s doesn’t have to be perfect.  ARGGGHHH…..  You know that one is killing me.  KILLING ME!  Everyone keeps talking about Agassi book and how that’s what his coach kept trying to tell him.  That’s what weightwatchers keeps saying too (I might be kicked out if they saw what I ate at the hospital this weekend.)  I know, I know I don’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t have to be perfect.  But I like perfect.  I like checking off those little, done, done, done boxes.  If I do everything on the workout plan I will finish Ironman.  If I don’t well, then I don’t have any right to complain about the outcome.  If I can’t be perfect than I’d rather be totally imperfect which is another blog in itself.  Let perfect go.  Just keep trying you’ll get 75% and that will be fine.  It does not have to be either 4 hour workout OR bottle of scotch and mallomars.  There is a whole world of grey inbetween.  (No I did not have scotch and mallomars.  But let’s just say there have been moments in the past that I have combined into one memory for illustrative purposes only.)

4.  A corollary to #3 is forgive.  It’s almost as hard.  Forgive yourself for not being perfect.  Forgive the sales clerk for not being as fast as you would like her to be because maybe if she processed that prescription 15 minutes faster that would have been 15 minutes you could have done something productive.  It doesn’t all have to be productive.  Forgive everyone.  Most important forgive yourself.  Punishment does not help, it just makes everything more painful for everyone. 

5. Rest and try again.  Go ahead and go back to sleep.  You may feel better in a couple of hours and then maybe you can do a little something later.  I keep thinking I have to do this 2 hour run.  Well maybe it would be better to get 1:15 of sleep and then 45 minutes of run.  Exercising while tired is self-defeating.

6. Be opportunistic.  Take the stairs when you see them.  Choose to walk over drive.  Throw a couple of squats in here and there.  Lots of little things add up to… well… not a lot, but lots of little things smooshed together.

7.  Breathe.

8.  Meditate.

9.  Be grateful.  For all the stress and striving there are many blessings. 

10.  Read some poetry and feed your soul.

Namaste

To A Mouse.
On turning her up in her nest with the plough,

by Robert Burns November 1785.

 

Small, sleek, cowering, timorous beast,
O, what a panic is in your breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With hurrying scamper!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I’m truly sorry man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
It’s feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December’s winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough past
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter’s sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leaves us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

 

 

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1/14/10 Recovery

Thursday.  Okay, I’m officially tired.  Zonked is the word that comes to mind.  I did the weekend workouts.  Felt okay.  Played tennis on Monday and felt great.  Went to indoor spin session with the team  on Tuesday morning, definitely felt the workout.  Went for my run afterwards — about 1 hour 15 minutes.  About 30 minutes in I felt my quads singing off key.  I finished but I was aware during the entire workout that I was pushing.   I took Wednesday off.  Just stretched and stretched and stretched.  Thought I was okay.

This morning we had an outdoor bike because it was a balmy 30 degrees.  Hill repeats.  It was actually good because they broke us up into 4 groups and nobody wanted to go in the last group so it was just me and one other gal who has been sick.  We’ve ridden together before when we were both having better days so I thought it was good.  We had coach D. ride with us and it was nice — just the three of us.  I was hurting on the hills (no news flash there).  We had to do a lot of standing and my legs were just screaming.  “Make friends with the pain and you’ll never be alone.”  D. quotes as I moan and groan my way up the hills.  As poorly as I did (I couldn’t make it all the way up standing) it was still better than last time.  I definitely see a smidgen of improvement every time I go out.  They are tiny improvements but they are mine.  Yes I was sucking wind but it wasn’t I’m going to have a heart attack and die, it was just old-fashioned suffering ’cause I’m out of shape. By August I’ll be good.  The only real problem this morning was I didn’t handle the cold too well.

I don’t ever remember being that cold on a bike workout.  We don’t ride outdoors in anything less than 25 degrees (including wind chill) and today was 30 with no wind chill.  It still felt like -30.  I was dressed in plenty of layers but the cold seemed to  seep into my joints.  Maybe too many indoor trainer workouts have been making me soft.  When I got home I felt like I had been hit by a two-by-four.  I decided there would be no tennis for today.  It would put me over the edge.  Tomorrow I’ll do a very short recovery swim because I didn’t get into the pool on Wednesday.  Nothing big maybe a half hour of easy back and forth — more an excuse to use the jacuzzi than to exercise.  Have to rest up for my big weekend.

This week is a recovery week anyway.  Every four weeks we take a week and all of our workouts are a little less intense and you take extra time to rest if you need it.  For me, I feel like I’ve been resting for 7 months so to take a week of rest seems weird.  This past weekend was the first weekend I feel like I really did what was assigned so to turn around and say “okay time for a recovery week”  seems a little strange.  I understand the importance of resting but I’m more an “opportunistic rester”.  I rest when I’m tired and go when I feel good.  Usually I don’t have much choice in the matter of when it is time to rest.

This weekend we have training camp and I’m sure it’s going to be tiring.  I need to be well rested before I go up.  Just one foot in front of the other.  I’m sure there will be ice and snow involved.  More cold.    My kingdom for some warm weather.   Unfortunately with the value of my kingdom I think we have a long winter ahead of us.

I’ve had a good week of tracking all my calories.  Can’t say the total caloric intake was low enough for a good weight loss but I do not believe I will have gained.  I’m just really happy that I stuck to writing everything down.  Even if I don’t calculate the calories, just writing it down gives me a great frame of reference.  It also stops me sometimes from grabbing something because I realize I will have to add it to the list and I don’t want the list to be ridiculously long.  Writing it down also helps me realize when I’m starch heavy.  Yesterday was a starch heavy day.  Today too much salt.  Writing it down helps me tweak and set better goals for tomorrow.

Even though I’m tired, I’m still giving myself a 7 on the scale of how good I feel.  I’m tired but I’m a normal tired and normal tired is a good thing.

Namaste

This is dedicated to all my friends who I annoy to no end….

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1/11/10 On Track

Monday.  The streak continues.   I feel good.  I’ve been diligent about all of my pills and the proper timing (which seems to be important so they don’t cancel each other out).  I feel so good that I’m motivated to keep going.  This weekend was a big workout weekend for me, I actually did everything assigned.  1 hour swim following by 2 hour run (okay run/walk) on Saturday.  Sunday 2 hour spin on my indoor bike trainer followed by 1 hour run (okay run/walk).  I even followed the workout they gave us to do on the trainer and did all of it, even the stupid single leg drills.  I can’t say that I’m excelling at the actual workouts but I’m thrilled that I am able to put in the total time.  I kind of look at it like I’m working on a coloring book.  Right now I’m drawing the borders — block out the time.  Next I’ll worry about filling in the shades of color — more effort and more speed.   I was a little knocked out after the long run on Saturday but I believe that was due to the cold weather more than the actual workouts.  Very pleased that I seem to be on track.  Lot’s of room for improvement — I still can’t run for very long but every time I go out I see a little smidge of an improvement.  I will get there.

Other things I’m happy about.

I’m sleeping well.  Every night I’m sleeping a good 7 hours.  That’s huge.  I used to have a lot more difficulty getting a good night’s sleep.  A good night’s sleep is better than potato chips.   I’ve had 7 hours a night for a couple of weeks.  Granted I had about 16 hours for a couple of months there but I never felt rested.  This is 7 hours and I feel rested.

I have no knee pain while running.  Okay I’m not really running fast or long but either way, no knee pain.  That’s good.

My heart rate seems to be back to normal.  No more of those freakishly high readings before I even step out the door.  It seems to be falling nicely back into place. (That it is a huge relief.)

I’ve been tracking all my food and that seems to be going well.  Tracked everything over the weekend too which is usually a stumbling block for me because the days aren’t so cut and dry.  But I’ve been watching everything and feeling better every day.  Won’t know if I’ve lost any more weight until Friday but I feel really good.

Today was supposed to be a rest day but I decided to sneak in a game of tennis.  It was interesting to say the least.  I got called to play a new member.   It was funny when I went down to meet her because she was rather petite.  I’m 5’10” and I’m going to give her a generous 5′ because she was nice.  My first reaction was this was going to be a walk over.  Then I thought of Amanda Coetzer, the feisty petite South African professional player from years ago and how she stood up to the female players much bigger than she was.  So I thought maybe I shouldn’t just assume I’m going to over-power her.  I cautioned myself against being the over-confident cliche.  Bigger doesn’t mean better.  There is that story about David and Goliath.  Don’t get ahead of myself.  There must be some reason they thought we would be a good match.

I was up a quick lead in the first set with the help of a few lucky and big serves.  No idea where the heck they came from but I think I set a tone for a level that  both of us were worried about maintaining.  Sometimes it is worse to come out with big guns because it’s kind of hard to go up from there.  But my serve and I learned to let each other be a long time ago.  It comes when it wants and when it comes I just let it do its thing.  When it goes away, it’s ugly.  The good and the bad, the yin and the yang.  When it is good it is oh so good.  But I managed to find a good spin and had a decent enough percentage on my second serve.   I got a few lucky return angles on her serves but we had some good rallies too.

As I suspected she turned out to be a very steady and strategic player.  Once that ball got into play, I had to work hard to not over hit.  Sometimes that backfired and I didn’t hit hard enough but I worked hard to respect my opponent.  I could tell her strategy right away — she wanted to make me run.  Usually a very good strategy against me but I don’t know who put the freaking rockets on my tennis shoes but I was running and hunting every ball down.  I couldn’t even believe it was me.  Three weeks ago my feet were stuck like glue on the court.  Today I was hunting down the balls and getting back to the middle.  I do think I let her dictate too many of the points but I was having such a great time running everything down I didn’t care.  I ended up taking the first set 6-2 but it really didn’t reflect the games.  There were a lot of games back to deuce several times and some very long points.  We were even in the second set but ran out of time.   I was impressed with her consistency and thrilled with my new-found hunting skills.  To be able to run down balls is just a great feeling.    She was a good sport and I’ll be happy to play her again but next time I think I just have to come out swinging and not worry so much about playing nice and even.  Sometimes you have to use the weapons God gave ya.   I could tell she was compiling a long list of ideas for playing me again.  I have ideas for her too.  Next time I’m going to let a few more rip.  This could be fun in a strategic dual kind of way.

I’m feeling full of hope.  If I can keep feeling like this, I think I can do this.  All of it.  St. Anthony’s, Tupper Lake, Ironman Canada.  I didn’t feel that way even a month ago.  I definitely have a ton of work to do.  I have to build up endurance and strength but I’m really starting to see a glimmer of hope.  I’m still nervous about the half marathon in two weeks but if I rest enough the day before I may be able to finish it.  It will take me near 3 hours because I’m going to have to walk a lot.  It will be a long time on my feet but if I get that  done I can focus on the March half marathon to really try to do better.  I just don’t want a DNF my first race out in 2010.  (Why don’t you pick a shorter race than a half marathon?  Dunno. )  And then of course we have the infamous Hook Mountain — my nemesis race.   No Lake Placid is not my nemesis race.  Hook Mountain is my nemesis race.  I really hate that race but I have to go back to prove to it that I am not afraid.  (Okay maybe I’m a little afraid but don’t tell the Hook.)

Tomorrow spin and run.  Weekend training camp in New Paltz coming up.  No idea what to expect out of myself but I will just do the best I can.  I’m sure there will be some torture that I can’t do but whatever, I’ll just do what I can.  Right now every day is an improvement so it is easy to be happy.

Namaste

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1/8/10 Deciding

Friday.  Feeling really good today.  I’ve been taking double doses of iron and vitamin D all week and today I really feel the difference.  I’ve jumped from a 6 all the way up to 7.  I feel really good.  Motivated.  Awake.  Ready to rumble.

I’m starting to feel the “want” to workout.  Up until now I just knew I “should” be working out and was pushing myself to get out there.  I was doing my workouts but begrudgingly.    But this week I really started to look forward to doing my daily workouts and even got my bikers high on Thursday.  I have to admit Wednesday was a wash but all in all I got some pretty good indoor bike sessions in and some good tennis, decent swim (and some weak running).  Nothing that would scream “hey get this gal to the Ironman” but I can feel the difference.

Just came back from my WW meeting and I feel bad for a couple of my friends.  I’m pretty revved up right now and ready to work at everything — preparing, tracking, working out — the whole shebang.  But some of my dear WW buddies are not feeling it.  I know the not-feeling- it feeling really well.   How can anyone expect someone to feel positive and motivated all the time?  It’s impossible.  There are peaks and valleys in this journey and I’d be lying if I said I knew the magic formula of what starts the beginning of one and the end of another.

But here are some things I do know.  When you are sick it is hard to be motivated.  When you are tired it is hard to be motivated.  When you have a job you hate it is hard to be motivated.  When you are vitamin deficient it is hard to be motivated.  The list goes on.  Been there, it stinks.   So if you can’t find motivation, look at your foundation.  Some extra sleep.  Some extra vitamins.  Maybe a power juice.  A little pampering goes a long way.

Even when feeling 100% okay it is hard to stay motivated to do what you know you need to do to get the job done.  The want has to be big enough and strong enough to carry you through some dark days.  When you don’t have the want you have to trick yourself with “tools for living” like positive self-talk and reframing and and and and….  well you know the drills.

I feel bad for my friends who are struggling right now.  Today I’m feeling pretty good.  I’ve been writing in my tracker.  My doctor thinks I’m doing well.  Weight Watchers says I lost another pound and a half this week.  I’ve placed my grocery orders from Fresh Direct.  I feel good.  But I know the wicked winds of weight watching can turn in a minute.  Tomorrow may be another storm.  Today we talked about being okay with being imperfect.  It doesn’t have to be 100%.  But I say shoot for 100% and be okay with 75%.  Same thing as with training.  You can’t do 100%  but you fall somewhere above average.

I wish for nothing more than to give my friends a boost right now when they need it.  I wish there was some way to say “c’mon, get up, we’ll do this together.”  But in the end motivation is a solitary journey.  Motivation comes from deep within.  No amounts of quick tips or tricks or top ten lists are going to help someone who is just not feeling the ‘want-to.’  It’s an elusive little devil.  Someone might inspire you but you motivate you.

I’ve drawn a map of my plans for the year, the next four months, the next month, the next week and the next day.    I spent a good amount of time making lists and getting ready for my kick-butt-in-2010 campaign.  All seems good on paper.  But now I have to buckle down for the hard part — the day to day doing it.

My mantra for today is “tracking is a tool, it is something that will help me get what I want, it is not a punishment.”  Tracking = mindfulness.  I want to be present and mindful.  I think if I keep repeating it enough I’ll begin to believe it.

In the meantime I ripped off a morning prayer and kind of adapted it for WW:

MORNING PRAYER

Dear God, so far today I have not missed tracking a single piece of food.
I have not indulged in a single donut, cookie or chip.
I have not taken seconds or thirds or “just finished” that little bit that was left in the bowl.
I have not accidentally found my spoon in a pint of ice cream or jar of peanut butter and
I have not nibbled on an unplanned piece of cheese or bread.
I haven’t drowned my salad in dressing and I haven’t snuck a single fry.
So far today God, I have been really perfect.  But, in a few minutes I’m going
to wake up and have to get out of bed and I’m going to need a little help.

Namaste

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