Moving on from the Marathon

It was pretty funny.  Last week I spent at least 3 days unable to sleep because the race kept running through my head (oh, remember back at 19, that was rough! oh but mile 24, that was a good one–etc, etc).  I visited the L.A. Marathon message board because I’m a dork and wanted to see what everyone was saying about the race (huge traffic issues getting there, tougher course than imagined with the weird elevation levels, but overall–a quality course).  I tried to focus on curriculum planning, laundry, socializing, but I wasn’t real invested in any of it.  And did I mention tired?  My calves were the only lasting soreness, and luckily that was gone by Wednesday–until my trainer killed me with a post-marathon-workout that should be illegal.

But, here we are, a week later, and I am moving on!  I had a weekend where I didn’t have to do a long run (probably couldn’t if I tried) or NOT drink because I was racing, or wake up super early.  While I needed a break from all that, you must realize that I actually enjoy all of that.  So it can be a bit depressing.  Unless, like me, you’re jumping immediately into training for future events.  I’ve found a way around the post-marathon-blues.  It’s called: triathlon season!

I found an amazing training diary that looks useful.  I mapped out my races for the next 6 months, labeled them in terms of priority, and determined a full season of training workouts in an hour.  I now have a goal (number of training hours) for each week–I don’t go so far as to detail the kinds of workouts…that will come later, but it’s so much smarter than just “training how I feel”–because it helps to keep me from increasing my training load too quickly & getting injuries and all that–but also challenges me to get better through the season & not stay at the same level.

My first race is in 3 weeks (yikes!), but it will get me back into the triathlon world–open swimming, transitions between events, etc–which is much needed.  It’s a sprint tri, too, so I should be able to go pretty fast.  I’ve raced the course before, so there’s a definite comfort level (though I remember a few rough hills on the bike course & the same on the 5k trail run).  Today I get back in the water–I haven’t been in the pool in a month, and I can’t wait to get all three sports going again.  Definitely feels like spinning plates trying to keep up with 3–if you don’t keep them all up, you feel like you’re losing fitness.  Did I mention I was excited?  Oh man, I am.

Classes were great this morning.  I sometimes can’t believe how lucky I am–that I can come into work kind of tired, kind of blah–and feeding off the kids’ energy, we wake each other up & they totally inspire me with their creative ideas & laughs & just pure fun.  They help me transform my curriculum.  One of the silliest kids says to ME after class “Kristy, you’re so sillllly.”  I learned it by watching you, kid!  We intellectualize it too much, but really–the heart of it has nothing to do with your lesson plan, objective, etc etc–it’s about your own willingness to be open to the kids & to the possibility of fun that is always there.   I’m not always willing, but man, when I am–it just feels like I’m completely in the right place.  I spend lots of time wondering about how to get to the NEXT place, always a bit dissatisfied–so it’s good to take a second and say, “It’s not perfect–but moments of it are perfect.”

The marathon always moves me in kind of an emotional way–maybe not as much as it did the first few times I did it, but it still reinforces some of my key beliefs about how I want to move through my life.  I want to do it with a smile on my face as much as possible.  I want my friends and family cheering me on.  I want to know that even in the worst moments, there is a downhill coming, there is a finish line.  I want to surprise myself with my own strength.  I want to have loads of patience.  I want to look around and see everything around me.  I want to challenge myself.  I want to take care of myself.  I want to say thank you to everyone, as much as possible.  The race is a reminder to treat every day this way–but also to be kind to yourself when you don’t get it quite right.

When I tell people I ran the marathon, I sometimes get “That’s crazy.  I mean, it’s amazing–but I don’t get it.”  A marathon isn’t necessarily “fun” for me in the typical way.  But it is much, much more.  It makes me feel alive, connected, part of something–yet still very much myself, my own journey.  Again, I feel in those moments that it’s exactly where I’m supposed to be.  So moving ahead—guess it’s time to go decorate some eggs or something???