“Narrow your focus to only what is happening inside this room.”
Statements like these from my yoga teacher are why I love and need my hour of inward reflection and narrowed focus once a week. It’s so hard to do otherwise. Lately I have found myself trying to do a lot of things half-assed instead of focusing on one thing at a time. My mind is constantly swirling and I can’t seem to have a singular focus, unless I’m training. I guess that’s why I was able to narrow and focus my race goals for 2019, during lunch with my coach. Well, sort of.
WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 24, 2018
I feel like this is all I do anymore, even during this cut back week. I have to say I really missed doing my long run (my longest run was 7 miles) but I bought two new pairs of running shoes at Fleet Feet Longmeadow, to help ease my pain. I also had the pleasure of doing a 30 minute “time trial” to see where my running fitness is, so my coach can dial in my threshold pace. It was grueling.
The day I was supposed to do the 30-minute time trial, it was pouring rain so I took to the indoor track. It has the bonus of having to dodge the elderly walking around in their full-length winter coats, as I huff and puff and speed around them. I’m sure they love it as much as I do. I warmed up for about 20 minutes, included some strides and then dialed in Z4 or “hang on for dear life” pace for the next 30 minutes. On an indoor track. For 30 minutes. It’s as fun as it sounds.
Tuesday – 30 minute time trial | 6.87 miles | 30 minutes @7:01 pace
Wednesday – easy run + yoga | 5.71 miles | 8:30 pace
Friday – 2 miles easy, 5 miles at half marathon effort + swim | 7.08 miles | 7:42 pace
Sunday – easy run | 6.10 miles | 8:40 pace
Total = 25.76 miles
Sadly, I only had one bike this week but, I will be doing a lot more in the near future! Stay tuned…
Thursday – sweet spot speed intervals | 1:07:00 | 18.6 miles
For the first time in a week I did an actual practice swim and not a recovery one. Well, I did one of each. The weird thing was I had a panic attack during my first swim of the week. My focus was definitely narrowed to the point where I couldn’t get my breath and had to swim to the edge and take a few moments. I’m not sure where this one came from. I’ve had them in the past but usually just before a big race when all I can think about is the swim start and being out in open water.
Luckily, it passed quickly and I was able to enjoy the rest of my swim. If this has ever happened to you, you know how scary it is and sometimes you can’t overcome it and need to get out. Ah swimming, I love to hate you.
Monday – endurance form | 2,000 yards
Friday – recovery swim after run | 1,200 yards
Total = 3,200 yards
YOGA + STRENGTH
Coach Rocket Science and I talked a lot about strength training. She knows I hate it, and yoga once a week is not going to cut it. I decided to hire a trainer, for once a week sessions, at a local gym to help me get into a better weight routine. Luckily my neighbor and friend is the fitness director there and she was able to hook me up with a trainer right away. I’m eager to start because I know I need it to keep my body healthy and strong for all the demands I put it on it. The older I get, the more important it becomes.
THINGS I LOVE
Deciding to get back to DUATHLON!
Yep. That’s run, bike, run for those of you unfamiliar. It’s also the racing that took me to represent the USA in Spain at the World Championships in 2014.
The National Championship race is in April and that will be my first goal of 2019, with the hopes of qualifying again for the World Championship race.
I’m definitely not cutting out triathlon and will be dually focused on racing another Half Ironman in June 2019. I told you have trouble narrowing my focus!
I’m beyond excited to return to duathlon because I know I can be completive there. I’m going to work hard to maintain my swim, but will obviously be concentrating on getting my speed and power up on the bike and run.
THINGS I DON’T LOVE AS MUCH
The ridiculous amount of time I spent watching the Kavanaugh hearings on CNN and then scrolling Twitter for all.the.comments.
I was outraged, touched, compelled and disgusted. I could not stop watching (or commenting out loud to no one) during the hours upon hours of testimony and ridiculousness.
I will say this: if you have ever been sexually assaulted you will never forget the details of it, no matter how long it has been or where it happened. I believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and, no matter the outcome, she did a historic and heroic thing by standing up and saying #MeToo.
Besides all the CNN I consumed last week I also managed to start a new Netflix show. I was super disappointed in season 2 of The Sinner. If you haven’t started watching, don’t bother, but I still highly recommend season 1 and they are completely separate stories, so have at it.
After watching Regina King accept the Emmy for lead actress in a limited series in Seven Seconds, I was intrigued. I always liked her and I was in need of a new show. I’m only a few episodes in but it’s riveting! I highly recommend adding it to your watchlist and also as a welcome distraction to reality.
Apparently Netflix cancelled the show after the first season so I hope it ends well…
I haven’t been this excited to tell you about a podcast since Serial. It’s that good! I mean, it’s horrifying but also such a compelling story, it’s truly hard to believe it all actually happened. You will be outraged, sickened and may even have some sympathy back pains as you listen to the story of Dr. Death unfold.
We’re at our most vulnerable when we go to our doctors. We trust the person at the other end of that scalpel. We trust the hospital. We trust the system. Christopher Duntsch was a neurosurgeon who radiated confidence. He claimed he was the best in Dallas. If you had back pain, and had tried everything else, Dr. Duntsch could give you the spine surgery that would take your pain away. But soon his patients started to experience complications, and the system failed to protect them. Which begs the question: who – or what – is that system meant to protect?
The only downside is the episodes are short, about 40 minutes each, and there are a bunch of ads! It’s annoying when you’re running and can’t forward through them, however the story is so compelling that I don’t even care. I’m almost done with the 7 episodes, because I save them for my longer runs, and I cannot wait to hear what happens so I can then Google every story ever written about it.
RANDOM PICTURE OF THE WEEK
There was one outstanding highlight to my week and that was meeting up with Christine (formally of Love, Life, Surf blog and now freelance writer everywhere including The Washington Post and Outside online) for a long lunch. Coincidentally, she is also the woman who introduced me to the Dr. Death podcast!
It was so good to chat and enjoy a leisurely lunch outside. Talking with other smart, strong, funny women is the antidote for everything wrong with the world right now. I highly recommend it.
Have a great week and try to narrow your focus as much as possible!
[Tweet “The Rundown has a narrow focus of the world right now with new #race goals, @netflix shows and @drdeathwondery podcast!”]
How was your week?
Can you narrow your focus? How?
Have you thought about race goals for 2019 yet?
Focus? What’s that?!? Mine is lost and I desperately need it. Im so excited for you and returning to duathalos! And I get my time to spend with Christine at dinner tonight. I just have to focus on getting through today. See what I did there? 😉
It’s so hard to focus on just one thing, right? The struggle!! Hope you had a great dinner with Christine…I mean, how could you not?
Oh man I can so relate on the focus thing. My head is everywhere lately and as a result…yeah half assed. Just reading about your time trial gut buster makes me feel the bile rise. How fun to see Christine!
The bile was rising for sure! Hope you and I can both have some better focus this week 🙂 Good luck!
OMG WARRIOR 2 UP THE WALL ARE YOU KIDDING???? That is amazing.
You did awesome with your time trial – I am very much not built for that kind of speed, but I love seeing others just absolutely crushing it like that. You are amazing and you are going to absolutely own everything you attempt in 2019!
I’m just trying to get through the rest of this year, LOL! It’s been a bit of a struggle, but they can’t all be fabulous, right?
Hahaha – thank you!! I had no idea one could even DO warrior 2 up the wall until my instructor did it. Now it’s my favorite 🙂
And no, not all the years can be fabulous but there’s still a few months left in this one so don’t give up!!
I had the TV on during the hearings and I couldn’t tear myself away. We were all that 15 year old girl, whether it was us or a friend. What I don’t get are the women who think she should “get over it”. Who are these women? Obviously still wanting to be liked by the BMOC.
I’m just struggling over the whole thing.
I’m struggling as well and I REALLY cannot understand other women who don’t get it. Really? It’s like we’re not part of the same gender. Insanity! If I focus on it too much I go nuts so I’m trying to get some breathing room before everything heats back up at the end of the week. God help us.
“formally of Love, Life, Surf blog” << Can I add this to all my bios now?? haha. I LOVE YOU!! I was so happy to see you. You made the rest of my drive so worth it and very grateful to have the time with you.
I'm stoked that you're getting back to duathlon and I've totally had panic attacks in the water. For a while, it was every single freaking swim and it was the most frustrating thing. For me, it's a little better now since I started doing more dedicated workouts? Or maybe I'm actually taking the time to warm-up haha.
All I can say is that I'm so glad that I was heading into a weekend where I would be surrounded by strong, brave women. I'm not sure how I would have handled/processed the situation otherwise. xoxox
You mean you don’t use that in your bio already? LOL!!
I’m not sure WHY I had that panic attack in the water since I can only ever remember having them before a big race. It’s super scary (as you know) and takes a boatload of self talk to keep going!!
You were probably in one of the best places in the country during all of that BS!! So glad you were there and can’t wait to hear about the whole thing!
As of late, narrowing focus is SO HARD for me. Although, that usually applies to ALL the things I want to learn and earn certificates in. Regarding fitness, I’m pretty sure I know where I’m NOT focusing on after this ultra and that’s super long runs. LOL Maybe halfs are a good distance? 😀 Plus, I want to do more CrossFit.
I remember following your progress to Spain! I’m so excited you’re going back to that and giving it another go! You are such a strong athlete!
I don’t watch a lot of TV but I did watch the hearings. Although, I was also trying to finish a paper and there were times when I got so raging mad that I couldn’t focus (there’s that word again) and I had to turn it off.
I know it’s such a struggle which is why I had to write about it. Just being aware though can be helpful so you can draw yourself back in. And, you will feel so good when this ultra is over and may even surprise yourself with maybe missing the training a little bit 🙂
I knew I could do nothing else while the tv was on so I was either watching or I had to turn it off!! I probably should have turned it off!
And thank you for saying that about duathlon. I’m really so excited to race it again!!
I couldn’t stop watch the hearings or following them on Twitter. I cannot actually comprehend how some people still support Kavanaugh after Ford’s testimony and how belligerent he acted in the hearing. Goodness. I’ve been on edge ever since then just waiting for what happens next.
Awesome work on that time trial! I’m super impressed by how you knocked that out on an indoor track, because that sounds as mentally hard as it is physically.
It just seems like it should be common sense. I mean, even if people think Dr. Ford is lying, shouldn’t we try to get someone without a tainted record? I mean, we can’t do better than this guy? It’s so gross. I just hope there’s a better ending…not likely but at least right now there is hope.
And YES it was super challenging mentally so thank you for saying that!! Only another runner could appreciate how hard that effort is so THANKS!!
I’m excited to see how your training goes this fall. It sounds like it was a relatively good week (all things considered).
As someone who worked in the public health field (with this situation), if she was lying (and I have no doubt she was telling the truth), we should believe her. This is why so many people don’t come forward.
Thanks Hollie. Yes, it was a pretty good week, all things considered!
And there are SO many reasons to believe her, as I’m sure you know from the work you have done. It’s just such a crazy situation. I’m grateful for the #metoo movement but so sad she has to be a kind of scapegoat in all of this. The world has gone mental!!
My head has been everywhere too! I’ve never had such a hard time choosing a fall race… it’s strange.
You ROCKED your 30 minute time trial! Awesome!
There are SO many to chose from so I’m not surprised you’re having a tough time. You can always fly out to Vegas on 11/11 and run with me 🙂
Dang girl, your warrior 2 up the wall is about as badass as anything I’ve seen lately! And now you’ve got me wanting to try a duathlon…
Thanks so much and you should TOTALLY try a duathlon. It’s a perfect challenge for any runner plus, all the cycling really helps to power up your runs!
Very good inspirational story. To consult about Neurosurgical problems contact Dr Raja S Vignesh