“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.

The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste bitches.

WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 24, 2018

RUNNING

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.

Running uphill in the humidity. Gross.

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

CYCLING

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

SWIMMING

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.

Warrior 2 up the wall was new to me. I loved it!

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.

After competing on Team USA in Pontevedre, Spain in 2014. I was 6th in my age group and 3rd American woman.

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.

TELEVISION

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…

PODCAST

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!

How was your week?

Can you narrow your focus? How?

Have you thought about race goals for 2019 yet?

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