Saturday, February 25, 2017

First race of 2017


Race.. well, maybe not a race.

Williamsburg ½ marathon- I’ve been doing this race for years- since UNDERGRAD IN COLLEGE!! Isn’t that so FUNNY!

Ohhhh so m any many many stories and beautiful memories of this race, I am PURELY THANKFUL!

This year, I registered and thought it was going to be the beginning of a ROCK STAR-ISH season!  And I am very much questioning that…!!!  My back went out at the end of November and it has been a slight nightmare for me in recovering.  It is a combination of back and hip- which led to hip, not sure, but they are both just really REALLY making me mad by not recovering!  I am at least to the point I can DO the race, DO the distance, and for that I am thankful.  However, it is hard because each year I go to this race as an early season check in- how has my winter training been- last year I had lost some good holiday weight and this year hasn’t been as easy to lose weight… because… well… food and wineJ  but I digress…. This “check in” is really  more like a check in if I can do it, and that is hard for me as I don’t normally race unless I am RACING.  Racing mind set- not necessarily to beat people or place, but to check in with  my past times, and FEELINGs- do I FEEL STRONG, can I FEEL  my training, did my body FEEL like it was accepting the challenge well…. And I think THAT is what I’m afraid of for tomorrow.  I am afraid of going out and not being able to handle the hurt!  And not even the hurt of running/pushing, but the type of hurt that is just my body not feeling like it is “working together” as in… fit.  Having that FIT feeling, even when you are red lining it, is AWESOME and just the THING that I LOVE!  I am at my max, but I am kind of comfortable working at that max, maintaining it, holding on step by step… because my body allows me and trusts me.  Lately, I’ve gone out for a few runs and it doesn’t FEEL GOOD, I don’t feel fit, things hurt, I feel big and clunky and awkward and like I am phoebe from friends running!! (remember that!??!!)  and it is just HARD TO RUN when you aren’t “fit”… (fit being my training fitness- not that I don’t think I have no fitness, but it is not my regularly prepared self).

And this is all good and okay, and timely.  Last week I was at a yoga conference where we were talking (among other things) about some of the principles of yoga such as

*letting go of attachments

*letting go of expectations

And more.

And I got thinking about  my ATTACHMENTS….  What am I attached to?  Who am I?  Ideally, we shouldn’t be attached to anything…. Not that we can’t enjoy things and revel in things, but any thing at all we can lose, so ideally we enjoy these things but are not “attached” to them- they don’t DEFINE us.

If someone asks you who you are, how do you respond?  For me? A mother, an athlete, a trainer, a coach, a yoga teacher and practicer, a gardener… all these things we can lose (an injury?)….  And further questioning, why do these things define us.  If I lean to defining myself as a runner and triathlete, why? Why am I ATTACHED to racing, to striving, to improving?  Am I trying to prove myself to someone?  I don’t think there is anyone out there who I am trying to prove myself to (because I don’t think anyone cares other than me how I do at my races!!), so am I trying to prove myself to  myself?  Am I racing for any reason other than the pure love of it?  I do feel the pure love of being out there, running, seeing beautiful places, trying my best… but is there more, is there an underlying reason, or fear that I have of not being enough if I don’t prove myself every time?  Honestly, I’m not convinced that there isn’t and am trying to take some time to learn this about  myself. 

I love running, I love triathlons, I love racing, and I LOVE TRAINING.

But I also do not know how to live well without these things.

I have lived forever with goals and strategically placed check ins and assessments and evaluations, and I admit, I do not know how to not work to improve on these.  Is that bad, is that okay, is that good? 

I think it is all of these, and I need to be in communication with my self to continue to keep myself in check, define my successes according to my values and priorities, and to embrace the never ending challenge of adjusting within my circle of wellness to define what is meaningful and positive and full of my essence.
I am nervous, I am unsure... I am doubting myself.... I feel worried of pain- both physical in terms of hip and back and also pain of non-fitness.  But I will run, and I will learn.  I will use this as an experience from which I will grow and I am so thrilled for that.  This is my life, and I love being present in the experiences that I know are set in front of me from above. 
*below are pics from last years race