Monday, March 04, 2013

Looking Back Looking Forward

Lately I have been in a bit of a plateau with respect to training.  There are just those times when it feels like nothing I do is moving towards progress.  There are even some of those days when training feels like going backwards rather than in the positive direction.  While not my favorite part of the process, certainly one that holds some value. 

I have a poster in my workout room that was signed by a champion and it says "never look back".  Most of the time I adhere to this principal as I am a firm believer on keeping your eyes on the direction that you want to go rather than where you have been.  However, there are times where a little perspective comes in handy. 

A few weeks ago, I was on a ride that was  - well a sufferfest.  In the middle of some pretty serious mind games I happened to look up.  I realized that in the not so distant past - I was doing my very first long ride on that road.  This was about 9 years ago.  I was on a hybrid and on knobby tires and platform peddles.  I rode in my running shoes and we rode a whole 26 miles!  I remembered feeling so proud of myself and started to form the plan of getting to that "Ironman race in Hawaii" that I saw when I was 16 years old.  Talk about perspective!

At the end of this year one of my best friends moved to Miami.  If you have read any of my race reports, I often refer to these girls as my "sisters".  They have known me before I ran my first marathon.  They have known me since before I ran my first 10k.  Between us we have 11 children and at least one of us was present at the birth of almost all of these kids.  Needless to say, we have done a bit of a different kind of event together.  There were the times when all four of us had a kiddo under the age of 2 and we would put all of them in a mini van and do all of our errands together so that no sleeping child had to get out of the car.  There were the times when I was on bed rest while pregnant and they would do a girls night on my bed with me.  There was the time that the husband of one of us was in the hospital at the same time as the child of another and we just moved in to the waiting room.  That hospital had no idea what it was in for.  Miami's best resident came back for a visit to bring her oldest to check out a college. We had dinner and talked about what colleges our first born kids were going to attend.  We laughed at how much we have changed and grown as women.  We spent some time looking back and we giggled at the prospect of what our lives looked like in the near future. 

These women have been with me at start lines and finish lines.  They have also confessed to not really "getting it" with Ironman. They have loved me anyway.  They give me perspective.  The axle of the earth does not rely on what watts I can push on a workout.  They don't even know what watts are - can you even imagine!  They don't know what my 100 meter split is now nor do they really care what it was or will be.  They care only that I am happy doing what I do and that I remember that what I do is not all of who I am.  I am a lucky woman to have these girls in my life.  Perspective.

**  This was taken after Vegas 70.3 Worlds where they saw me race a triathlon for the first time. And yep they made me get dressed up and go our after :)

So while I am hanging out on this plateau, I am reminded that this is a great time to enjoy the view.  Now is the time I can see how far I have come and get a clear idea of where I want to go.  Yes, ascending is much more fun but now is the prep time for the next ascent.  We are about to embark on what may be our last family vacation in some time.  My oldest is headed for college next year.  I am reminded of a line from one of my favorite movies that I always use during an Ironman - " your life can change with every breath you take". Off to take a few deep breaths...