Week #17 Ironman Training

Week #17 Ironman Training
April 30, 2014 Jess

I am 2 weeks post surrender and I’m finally feeling back to normal.  With that, I’m experiencing a renewed hope and excitement for what’s to come in the next few months.  And with that, I’m hearing a constant reminder to stay present and not jump too far into the future.  Thanks to the best jobs in the world, I am constantly teaching presence to others and most importantly listening to myself as I teach.  I tend to be the type of person that doesn’t just talk the talk, I have to also walk the walk. People, especially my massage clients, often say to me, something to the effect of, ‘I want your life for a week, you’re so relaxed and calm’.  My response, ‘Right. That’s because I work everyday to be more relaxed and calm. My job is to be present’.

Just to clarify things, I didn’t become a massage therapist and yoga instructor because I suddenly discovered I was a relaxed and calm person living in presence. On the contrary, I was a high strung, over stressed and controlling woman who turned to massage therapy and yoga to save her life.  Thankfully it worked but not without my readiness and persistence to change.  It’s not a magic pill, it’s a daily practice that will last me the rest of my time on this earth.  At least now, after many years of practice, I’m able to catch myself getting lost in the lands of past or future and return to the moment fairly quick.

This morning I had a 3000 yard swim of which 1800 yards would be sustained hard efforts.  I found myself in the first set of these hard efforts calculating how much I had left, wondering when I would be done, what did I have left to do today, how would I get it all in, when would I be half way through and how would I be able to hold this pace in another 1000 yards….?

‘Whoa’, I thought, ‘where are you right now Jess?’

I was so busy in my mind that not only did I forget which end of the pool I was swimming towards, I forgot where I was in the set.  Right then, I made a choice.  I brought my awareness into the sound of my breath and into the feel of my stroke.  I recalculated the distance by giving a good guess at how long I had gone already and finished the set.  After looking at my time, I ended up swimming an extra 50-100 yards.  All those thoughts about what I had to do and I end up doing extra, my universal penance for not being present.  For the remainder of the swim my goal was to stay in the moment.  The swim went by quickly and without resistance or worry, two things that I experience often when I’m not present.

The easiest way I’ve found to get present is to simply turn up the sound of my breath and listen to it with 100% of my awareness.  This interrupts the incessant stream of thoughts sabotaging my presence and gives me the space to return to the moment that I am experiencing.  This is a simple practice that when embraced with diligence becomes easier over time. Meaning the more you do it, the easier it will be to recognize when you’re dwelling in the past or consumed with the future.  As I like to say, you’ll be onto yourself and your ego’s way of sabotaging your experience in the now.  I have found that a regular meditation practice is key to remaining onto myself and noticing my tendencies to move away from presence.  Meditation has also provided me a foundation of calm that is always with me now and just makes life feel better.  The key is to start simple, don’t get overwhelmed and remember that it only takes one conscious breath a day to create more presence in your life.

Week #17 Recap

Monday
60 min heated vinyasa
Tuesday
1hr 30 min z2 ride
20 min z2 run
Wednesday
2600 yd swim
50 min recovery ride
15 min recovery run
60 min heated vinyasa
Thursday
32 min tabata ride
45 min hill repeat run

 

Friday
2100 yd swim
30 min recovery run
60 min vinyasa yoga
Saturday
3hr 40 min z2/z3 ride
20 min z2 run
Sunday
1hr 10min recovery ride
1hr 14 min z2/z3 run

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