I am having a groundhog day sort of week. I know that movie is a comedy, but I still think it was quite poignant. And I adore Bill Murray. Meatballs. Lost in Translation.
My week has also been punctuated by vivid dreams. In my dreams I'm late for class or I can't find something or I can't open my locker at school and the halls are fast becoming silent. In one dream I couldn't get to Ernie before he was hit by a car.
My dreams might be because I'm racing this weekend. Or they might be simply because I am fucked up. One or the other.
I have a meet on Friday and Saturday at Harvard. It's the Short Course Yards Masters Championship-- a big meet. I am not stressed about the meet, though. Alina is coming down. I'm more focused on that. I will swim a few events. It will be fun. It will mean nothing.
I'm stressed, however, about my 1/2 marathon on Sunday.
I usually get anxious about big big races--like say, IM, or even a 1/2 IM. But this is just a stupid road race. It is just a benchmark.. a stop along the way... a measure. The problem is that I have been running very well lately.
How is that a problem, you ask?
Well... it's problematic in that it makes me wonder, and hope, and maybe even fantasize about what I might be able to do. And the truth is that hope--hope that crosses over into fantasy especially--is dangerous. It can lead to disappointment. And embarrassment; embarrassment that I could imagine more from this 40 year-old-body than it will hand over.
Disappointment and embarrassment can be painful.
And protecting myself from pain is. very. important.
I sound like some scarred woman... burned over and over by her lofty aspirations that didn't pan out. But I'm not a scarred woman. Racing has given me an endless sense of accomplishment. I generally don't let myself down, and I long gave up the notion that anyone really gives a crap how I do other than me. (Which is not to say people aren't supportive... just that my doing well or not rocks no one's world except my own.) So why the fear of psychic pain?
I have my private theories, and I will allow you to draw your own conclusions. But one thing I will say: there is a tension that exists between my groundhog life and the thrill that comes with risking failure. And the reason I am passionate about racing is because if that tension did not exist I'm fairly certain--neither would I.