Endings and Beginnings

Still riding high on such a great experience yesterday, this morning I was up by 7:30 AM to get to the pool and swim. My legs are sore today, a sign I gave all I had in the race yesterday. But my legs were not sore enough to keep me from swimming. I really haven’t had a good swim since the Thursday before I left for vacation. After checking in with a few friends, I knew I would be in good company today so I made it to the pool a little after 9:00 and swam 2,000 meters. One friend was already there and the pool was full, so I shared a lane with her. It felt so good to swim again, I am working right now on cleaning up my flip turns. I made sure to flip during warm up, main set, and cool down. It was a good endurance workout that kept me going with very limited breaks between sets.

Even though I spent most of last week at a spa, I could not resist spending time in the hot tub after my swim. Feeling the warm water on my legs helped to loosen them up while I stretched. I took my time getting dressed too. This is my last official day of vacation, I am going take advantage of it. Another friend made it later and she and I got to catch up before I left. Catching up with friends I haven’t seen for a few weeks was good to ease myself back into my regular routine. Although, with marathon training in full bloom, my routine has completely changed. As I have said, change is good, and so far I am enjoying it. On my way home from the gym I did something I very rarely do on weekends – I stopped in my office to go through mail, email, and organize things. Now I feel ready for the week to come with no surprises when I walk in on Monday.

Along with my vacation ending so does September. My goals for September were to do well in the half iron race as well as the half marathon. Additionally I planned on focusing on my marathon training while still swimming a few times a week. Well, without lamenting again the results of my half iron triathlon, I will say that I did well in that I finished the race despite some painful stomach issues. My swim, which I have worked so hard on all year, was very good. My training paid off. My transition times improved too. As time has passed, I am satisfied with the experience and enjoyed the time I spent with friends at the race too. My half marathon yesterday went well, so much so that I registered today for the Akron half marathon next year. Hey, when I spot a good thing, I stay with it. I am full in to my marathon training and see the benefits paying off. Swimming – I have done twice a week as planned.

So now October begins tomorrow. Wow – fourth quarter already. This Sunday I am running a 10K race on the towpath. While I am running 12 miles easy the day before, I think I have it in me to do well. My goal is anything under an hour. I also am planning a 5K race at the end of the month. This has been my PR 5K race the past two years. It would be nice to have a three-peat. As for training – I have my October running plan all lined up and I am looking forward to it. Additionally I am adding pilates once a week and a resistance workout my trainer designed for me once a week. I know I can swim twice a week, possibly three times now, and I am adding spinning. After going over with my trainer the days I would like to spin, she thinks it is worth a try spinning twice a week. If my legs are fatigued, then I will cut back to once a week. Never a dull moment indeed.

The end of vacation, the end of a month, the end of a quarter… also the beginning of a dynamic and changed training plan, a new month, a new quarter. How true it is that the one thing that stays the same is that things will change. Being a type A person who plans things out, I am learning to embrace the changes around me. What does not have to change is who I am – my values, my character, the principles I live by – all things that equip me and surround me as events go on around me. It is what defines me. All too often we define who we are by what we do – our profession, our family roles, our activities and sports. Those are roles in our lives that change with time. Strip those away and inside is who we are. Something to ponder in this ever changing world.

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