Then this morning, driving into work, as I was having the recurring daydream of crossing the finish line at Placid/Florida/Arizona/anyotherlocationthathasa140.6, I said aloud in my car "STOP IT!!".
I DID have a great 70.3 - I had an awesome time, and managed to pull out a decent result. But I have to take a step back. A mere 2 weeks ago, I was sitting on the side of the road in Gloucester crying because I didn't want to finish the 25K race. I was shuffling along, being completely miserable, trying to move a burnt out, tired body 15.6 miles. And hating every second.
I also have Chicago in 2 weeks and 6 days. I had my first 23 miler this past Saturday in probably close to a year in which I didn't cry or have to stop. It was awesome to be able to feel in control of my body. However, I also for the first time did this long run by HR, and forced my HR to dictate my run. It was a reminder of how tired my body is - my pace to stay in Z2 was very, very slow. I still have time to pull out a decent performance at Chicago, but I need to be smart. I need to have a strong taper. I need to focus on healing and recovery. I cannot be focusing on what my race calendar will look like 4 months from now.
Enter the "goals vs being in the moment" title to this post. I think as Type A athletes, we're always thinking about lists, schedules, races, training blocks, goals, and what comes next. Sure, we're focused on today's workout, but our minds often seem to be focused on the next huge training day/training block/race/etc. And I think as a goal race gets closer, our minds jump to what we can do after we cross the finish line. I know for me, that's definitely the case. "Once I slay this dragon, what's up next"?
For the next 3 weeks however, I have vowed (no, my fingers aren't crossed behind my back) to stay in the moment. One workout at a time, and focusing on preparing my body for Chicago the best I can on each individual day. Crossing the finish line in Chicago signals the end of the 2011 season for me. It will be time to close the chapter on this less than stellar season, and time to focus on wiping the slate clean. Starting fresh. Rebuilding.
I don't know what the 2012 season holds for me yet - but I do know that racing isn't going anywhere, and when I'm ready to build a schedule for next year, it will be with a clear mind, and heart full of anticipation. And a body hungry for some PR's.