On relaxing…(or at least, trying to!)
Type A. Anxiety-prone. OCD. Rigid. Afraid of change. All of these are terms I’ve either used to describe myself, or have been described as by my (long-suffering) husband. For this reason I spent the first few months of my son’s life in a near-panic state. (Don’t turn the TV on while you’re holding him! You’ll give him ADHD! And make sure you talk to him while you’re changing his diaper, so his language skills develop properly!) It’s also why I started training for my first sprint triathlon over a year in advance…You can’t be too prepared, right?
It seems kind of funny to me now…Did I really think my son’s emotional and cognitive development was so fragile that I had to do everything just as the experts recommended, every moment of every day, or risk turning him into a juvenile delinquent? And did I really need to read, plan, schedule, and train with that much dedication in order to cross the finish line in a race that only lasted an hour and a half?
Yeah, probably not. My son seems to be turning out just fine, except for a few little personality quirks, like stubbornness, that I take no credit for. And all my races last summer turned out far easier (and more fun) than I expected. So I’m feeling lots more relaxed about my parenting skills, and pretty chill about the triathlon stuff, too.
Oh, but now my goals are getting loftier…I have, in fact, emphatically stated before that I would never do anything with “marathon” in the title, and here I am preparing for a half-marathon in just one short month. And true to form, I’m convinced that my ability to complete the race is contingent on me being able to adhere strictly to an expert-approved training plan. My biggest concern when I was hit with the mother of all GI bugs a few weeks ago: How was I going to make up for the runs I missed? And today’s snowstorm, rare for Portland, got me worried about what I was going to do if weather threatened to get in between me and my upcoming long runs of 10 to 12 miles.
So I’m telling myself, just chill. Missing a couple runs isn’t going to make or break me on race day. If the weather’s bad on the day I planned a long run, it won’t ruin my training to postpone it for a couple days. Hear that, inner voice of panic? It’s your inner voice of reason talking: everything’s going to be okay. You’re going to do just fine. No worries here.
Now excuse me…I just need to do some stretching, go over my prerace checklist, make sure the items I need to pack are listed alphabetically and cross-referenced by color, and create a driving route with a contingency plan in case of any Sunday-morning race-day traffic. I’ve only got a month, people, so I’ve got to get started!