Okay, I'm officially done with my little meltdown. Seriously, last week had me on the edge more times than I've been in... well, I don't ever remember being that close that often before. I'm always a little psychotic around a new moon but this one was a doozie and will go down in the history books, I'm afraid. I'll look back years from now and say "wow, remember the new moon of May 2011? What a killer!" I have now effectively slapped myself back to kickin' ass and takin' names mode and am ready to tackle the mountain of laundry I've let pile up and get back to writing, which I've been slacking on.
Speaking of writing...My writer's group IS AMAZING and helped immensely getting me out of the slump. We met last week which was fabulous as always. I got to play with character development through dialogue which I didn't realize I could do until I tried. And, we ended the evening with a brainstorm session on my novel. I came away with lots of the fuzzy ideas I've had swarming around in my head a bit more solidified AND on paper. But, it also resulted in many a daunting realization for me. Like am I really changing the name of my female main character? (If you have any powerful sounding female names, please share them since she can no longer have the same name as Baby Sister!) And am I really thinking of putting a religious aspect into my book? (Yes, ME, the non-religious girl with religion in her book!) And is my male main character going to fundamentally have to change everything he's been doing in the beginning of the story? I know all three of these things mean a much more challenging story to write but I'm excited about the possibilities and the depth they will bring to my little baby. I can't wait to be able to carve out consistent time again to write. Which I will do once the insanity that is Ragnar is over in just over a week. I've come to accept that there is no way to do both Ragnar training AND writing at the same time and I just have to be okay with not doing everything all the time when I bite off this much to chew on.
Sigh. Sometimes being an overachiever really bites.
With that said, my running lately has been a joke and I'm worried that I should be more stressed about it. I haven't run more than four or five miles in weeks because of time constraints with the hubby's new schedule cutting into my gym time. And, since I'm being honest, I haven't even been that motivated to push myself to the level of training I know I need to be at in order to be successful on this race. Like Sunday night I totally could have done a second run in the evening but I just didn't want to get off the couch. And I didn't. If I'm rationalizing, which I've been doing a lot of the last couple of weeks, it's because I've been suffering with a flare up of my old nemesis running injury, plantar fasciitis, and I don't want to push myself hard and then not be able to even run on race weekend. Then there's the run I tried in the eighty two degree heat of a June Sunday in Utah that sapped my energy so much that I couldn't even run more than thirty minutes before I thought I'd die - LITERALLY. Have I mentioned how much I loathe heat? I long for the cool temperatures of fall already and it isn't even full-blown summer yet. I'm probably the only person I know who trains outdoors all winter and opts for the treadmill in the summer. But I digress...
Today I got some good news coupled with a dose of reality. I stumbled across an article talking about the need for rest and how some runners have a tendency to overlook it. Turns out that being stressed and tired and all the things I've been suffering the last few weeks takes a toll on a runner's performance and the only cure is to take some time to rest so your body has time to recover. So, the new plan is to not stress about how much training I'm going to get, or not get, in the next week. Seriously, I've been training hard core for 18 weeks and it's time to start tapering off so I am rested and ready for race day. I'll go for a few light runs between now and then but not push myself. I know that I am indeed capable of running morning and night and the next morning - because I've done it already - and that I can run the distances I have on tap for each of my legs of the relay - seven miles, eight miles and four miles respectively. It feels good being back in the mind frame of "I'm ready" instead of the stressed out "OMG I'M NOT GOING TO BE READY" I've been feeling. On the way home from work today I saw a bumper sticker that said "FURTHER... NOT FASTER" and I laughed right out loud because it was clearly on the back of that Jeep just for me to see and be reminded that for me it isn't about speed but endurance. I need to turn off the pace calculator on the old Garmin and things might be a bit less stressful for myself. When did I become so obsessed with being competitive anyway?
I also had an epiphany the other day when the date of my first race of the running season came and went and I didn't even register or pretend to care that I was missing it. Once Ragnar is over, I'm going to go back to running for the joy of running and not care about a race until the half marathon in October. By then it will be cooler temperatures and I can train hard for a few months and be happy. After the insanity of Ragnar training it will be nice to take a break, enjoy running again, and have time to write.
To go along with my new outlook, I indulged a whim and got feather extensions in my hair at the gym last weekend with Big Sister. It's fabulous and sassy and represents everything I'm feeling now where nothing is going to get me! So, the only question is, did the feathers come because of the new outlook or did my outlook change because I got feathers in my hair? At this point, I'm so glad to be out from under the dark cloud of ick that I don't care how it happened, I'm just glad it did! Here's to the downhill fun of this roller coaster I call life!