I am a little bummed that the race I had picked out as my official return to triathlon competition has been cancelled due to some kind of road construction. Boo. On the upside, at least it is not because I have injured myself and cannot race.
I had chosen that race because it had a 24 mile bike but only a 5K run. It was a chance for me to get my feet wet at the Olympic distance without having to commit to the longer run (the part I fear). The odds would have been stacked in favor of strong swimmer/cyclists. It was also a good way to warm up/tune up for the full Olympic scheduled two weeks later. Now I either need to find another warm up race or go straight into the race on Sept. 3. That seems so scary since I have not raced in a very long time.
The war wounds of last week are healing well, though I still cannot swim. I did my long run on Sunday night, then a long ride Monday, and today was an easy, middle distance run. I am extremely tired from the two long workouts and noticed that while my legs felt a little heavy, my breathing and heart rate were under control. I simply wanted to take a nap. I woke up a little as the run went on only to drop back off towards the end. Still, it got done and that is what matters.
I had a fairly stressful day and did the run without any music. At times it was nice to just have quiet but at other times, I found myself obsessing about work. I kept reminding myself to relax, that everything could wait until that run was over, that this was MY time. It helps to think of it as my gift to myself (although sometimes it is a little reminiscent of getting a bottle of cod liver oil for your birthday) and be happy in the moment. I really struggle with that on the run. I get there mentally in the other two phases, but not the run. On the run, the music is less like an awesome soundtrack and more like a necessary distraction.
I am a firm believer in "fake it 'til you make it" and that is what I am doing. If I have to remind myself every step to release the tension in my upper body, so be it. I constantly check in with my trouble spots, shoulder and traps, neck, jaw and teeth, brow, etc to see if I have clenched up. Usually, I find I have. When I relax, I am usually drop about a minute per mile for the same perceived exertion. A MINUTE A MILE.... that's pretty huge. That is all tension and wasted energy. When I relax, I can also sometimes, even if the moments are fleeting, begin to love it... just a little.