I checked two age groups pretty consistently--W40-44 and W45-49. I looked at 45-49 because my friend Robin was racing. She kept me on the edge of my seat, that Robin. She swam well, biked better, and ran her way up to 4th where she stayed. But I could tell by examining splits during the marathon that she was edging closer and closer to girls in positions 2 and 3. And then final result came in: she had stayed in fourth but was only 1 minute off third and 2 minutes off 2nd. Amazing performance. But DAMN!
I also looked at W40-44 because.... I was supposed to race in 40-44. My name sat sadly on the bottom of the list, a bunch of zeros following it... because I did not start. Instead I watched the race from my computer in Massachusetts. Becky, a local athlete to me, dominated the 40-44 field. She lead out of the water, was second off the bike, and then reclaimed first and held it for the whole run. It was fun to see--especially because I was not trying to race her!
I had many a pang as I watched the race unfold online. I felt simultaneous relief and torture. I should be there and I want to be there--but thank God I am not there.
I have been really taking it easy the last month, and I needed to take it easy. I needed to let the previous season leach out of me completely. In the late summer and early fall I took on the project of having fun in order to start that leaching. That worked for awhile. I did Masters swimming and took flying trapeze lessons and competed in cyclocross races. I bought fun swim suits and swore off Gu and sport drink and salt tabs, and I didn't run for 10 straight weeks. And then I was done with that. I was ready to be quiet and ready to stop trying so hard at forgetting. So I just stopped and read books for awhile. I started to run a bit. I didn't get on my bike at all.
And here I am.
I was supposed to be there, and I wanted to be there, but Thank God I was not there. The 2012 season needed to leach out of me, and I needed to let it. I needed to let it leach out of me as I allowed its lesson to seep into me. I needed to let my disappointment morph into wisdom.
And I did that. I'm ready to train again.
Today is the day that marks the beginning of the training that will prep me for racing in 2013. I've created my own plan through to my first race in late March, and I'm excited about it. I'm also looking forward to manipulating the plan as I execute it! I love making plans--and I love tweaking plans, and sometimes I love totally changing the plans I have made!
This morning I swam Masters. I wore my pink-polka-dotted suit, my pink cap, and used my pink pull buoy during our pull sets. I nestled down in my lane with my lane mates Ian, Tod and Randy and I worked. And it felt awesome to work! And I can't wait to get up tomorrow morning and work again.
Rest is important, etc, and so on, blah blah blah. You know what? I guess it is. But rest is passive. I didn't need rest, although certainly I have literally rested. What I needed, and what ahteltes often need, particularly after a very disappointing season, is much more than the passive inaction of rest. I had to fight to let go of last season. I had to fight to get beyond the disappointment of working REALLY hard and having things not go right. I had to let myself heal both actually (I did have that damn fracture) and mentally by forcing myself to try new things that might bring back some of the joy I once found in training and racing.
That wasn't going to happen in just a few weeks. I needed months. Sometimes we need months! And frankly, I will not be the same ever again. Disappointment can change us. I believe when we learn from that disappointment it can change us for the better.
Both little races and big races.
Both new races and races I do every year.
And best of all, everything is subject to change...
- Jan. 1 New Year's Day 5k, Needham MA
- Jan. 20 Jimmy the Greek's 4 Mile Race in OOB, ME
- Jan. 27 Wellesley Masters Meet
- Feb. 3 Cape 10 Mile Road Race, ME
- Feb. 16 Metrowest Valentines Swim Meet
- Feb. 17 Foxboro 10 Mile Road Race, MA
- Feb. 24 Casco Bay Toughen UP Challenge (swim meet) ME
- March 17 Quincy Half Marathon
- March 31 California 70.3
- April 14 Wellesley Masters Meet
- April 21 Run for Charlotte 10K
- April 28 Cape Swim Meet
- May 5 Sudbury Spring Sprint
- May 10-12 Masters National Championship (swim), Indianapolis
- June 9 Holliston Sprint
- June 15 Patriot Half Iron
- July 26 Ocean Park 5k
- August 18 Tri For Preservation Sprint
- August 25 OOB Half Iron
- Sept. 8 Pumpkinman Half Iron