The Triing Lizard

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I saw the coolest snake a couple weeks ago when I was running in Robert E. Lee park. I almost went running by without noticing him when my heart rate monitor started beeping, telling me that I needed to slow down to keep my heart rate in my Maffetone zone. When I did slow down, I noticed the snake sprawled out vertically along this tree, it was basking in the sun happily and it was about a foot from my head. Luckily I like snakes so I wasn't scared, but seeing that snake did get me thinking about how many other things I've probably missed that were sitting right next to the trail as I went running by, determined to get my training run completed as quickly as possible, not caring about anything else. It made me think about how self-centered I had become, especially when it comes to training. I didn't think about or notice anything when I did my training sessions. I would get annoyed when things like thunderstorms would force me out of the pool. Annoyed when I had to wait for my boyfriend Jeff to be ready to go on our training runs.

The Maffetone training has definitely made me slow down, and I think it's been for the better. It's allowed me to remember why I train, that training for triathlon is something I do because I love to be outside, I love to get out and really enjoy my life. I think before I started the Maffetone training, I had been focusing too much on just getting through my workouts. But now I'm thinking - why should I just get through my workouts? I want to enjoy them! I want to have fun training because training is a significant part of my life. So I decided something the day I saw the snake. I was going to train because it was fun, and that I was going to change it to make it fun. And I was only going to do it up to the point where it ceased to be fun. And I was going to stop being so self-centered and start noticing the beauty around me, the snakes along the path.

Over the past few weeks, I've been fighting the flu, allergies, and some other health issues and I haven't been able to run or do any of my other normal training. In fact, just being able to get out for a walk was a miracle with the way I felt. I really started to miss my training sessions and longed to get out there to do some biking, some running, and even go for a swim.

Now that I'm finally feeling better, I can get back into my training and I can enjoy it even more. And every time I go back to the park I will visit the tree where I saw the snake. I may not see the snake but I will still be able to see the tree and it will serve as a reminder as to why I train, why I am out there, it's fun and it is a privilege to be healthy enough to be able to get out and enjoy what's all around us. And I can stop and listen to the birds, feel the cold wind, watch chipmunks scurrying around a tree, enjoy the clouds reflecting on the water, and the smell of the fall. And who knows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to see that snake again one day.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Being sick has given me lots of time to hang around the house with my cat Dorrie. Now I know what it feels like to be stuck in the house all day! This picture makes her look like she is the sweetest cat ever but it's just not true! She is so deceptive! But despite her periodic attacks for no reason, her clawing at the door at 2:00 AM, her shredding ALL of my toilet paper into piles of confetti, it's been nice to have her around to keep me company.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Involuntary Time Off
Apparently my body is telling me that I need to take some time off. Or else my boyfriend Jeff is. Probably both. Jeff has given me (or my exhausted body allowed me to catch) the nasty cold that he's been fighting for the past week. I feel like hell. Just walking up the 4 flights of stairs at work seems like a long journey. The thought of going out for a run or going swimming is completely out of the question. At the end of today I will have rested a full 5 days, and by resting, I mean resting. Berely any walking, no stairs (except the mandatory stairs at home and the one time I mistakenly thought I could handle them at work), no abs and pushups in front of the tv at night, I mean just sitting and laying down. I am feeling like such a sloth. My muscles feel like they are melting into fat that I worked so hard to get rid of. Right now it is hard to imagine even wanting to do a hard work out ever again! Though I know as soon as I start feeling better I'll be out there running again! In the meantime I can crank out a bunch of chapters in my Actuary Level 1 Study Guide.

Maffetone Training Report
On a happier note I love my Maffetone training program so far! I'm starting to be able to run up hills while keeping my HR down and my hip pain has completely gone away. New muscles have been strengthened from all the walking (my body was getting sore from walking, it was weird). I've decided to do the half marathon at Gasparilla instead of the full marathon. I'm glad I made that decision, esp since I've been so sick and would have missed all of these training sessions.