Keeping Time

Posted on June 22, 2012. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This Saturday is the sprint tri for which I’ve been training for the past 8 weeks.  I’m pretty psyched about it and feel both mentally and physically prepared.  The tri legs are a 500m open water swim, a 13 mile bike, and a 4 mile run. I would be happy to finish it in under 1:45, which would be a personal best.  I think there are some pretty serious triathletes—like training for an Iron Man serious—in my age category, so I don’t expect to place. And I’m good with that. It’s been a great experience simply training, and I love being in the race itself.

What I love about training and racing is that when I’m in the moment, I’m truly in the moment. It’s one of the few times in my day when I have learned to be present.  I don’t think about what’s coming next or what’s come before; I can simply be.  My mind is laser focused, and, if what my latest fortune cookie tells me is true, a focused mind is one of the most powerful forces in the universe.  I believe it.

So I was a little bit surprised last week when I had a moment of fear during one of my runs.  I realized that race day was almost here and my training would be done.  Then what?  Go back to sleeping late, eating the Girl Scout cookies still hidden in my freezer behind a wall of vegetables and chicken, regrow my toenail? For the first time in weeks my mind strayed into “what comes next?” mode, and it wasn’t pretty.  I lost track of what I was doing—my breathing, form, and pace—and when I came in I actually got out my calendar and got on my computer to see what sprint tri or half marathon might be coming up in a month or two.

Thankfully, reason dawned.  There was no need to panic—there are loads of races all the time.  I had no business looking for one then; there was still 10 days to this race, and this race was all that mattered.  More important, perhaps, my run that day—or any day—is all that really matters, because that’s all there is.  We aren’t promised the race or the finish.  We are given only the day.  All we can be sure of is the moment we are in, so we need to make the best of the moment, focused like a laser.

So I am ready for Saturday’s sprint tri.  Now, if I can only apply that kind of focus to the rest of my life…

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2 Responses to “Keeping Time”

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Beautiful post. All the best tomorrow!

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