Monday, September 19, 2011

Goals vs being in the moment..

Ever since I broke the tape crossed the finish line at Pumpkinman last Sunday, my brain has been on over-drive. Thoughts of Ironman dancing through my head, as well as actually training (WHAT?!) for a 70.3, and seeing what times I can deliver. The words Placid/Florida/Arizona have been racing around my head, and out of my mouth in many conversations. Boston registration started last week too (no sillies, I do not have a qualifying time, but several of my friends do) which got me thinking about spring marathons. If I make the jump from marathon training to long distance triathlon training, how will I fit it all in? Do I have to? Do I WANT to? What is 2012 going to look like for me?

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. 

Happy Training!


  1. oooooh, i love the race schedule madness that comes from a good race!

  2. Good luck @ Chicago! IM is AWESOME and you definately have the bug :) DO IT!!!

  3. I soooo have the bug.. Its bad ;)

  4. Hi Meaghan! Thanks for nice comment over on my blog. I just read your half-IM race report--what an epic experience for you. I can't imagine balancing the three disciplines like that. You have great things ahead. I'm looking forward to reading about Chicago for you!

    I have trouble living in the moment too, but what you say in this post is so true. I'm trying to enjoy my recovery right now. Not so easy when my goal is still out there, just out of reach. :^)