Sometimes in training, it is necessary to take a step back and start mentally from the beginning. In this way, one can let go of any mistakes made so far, let go of frustrations, take a breath and feel the excitement of a clean start. After several setbacks in my training during the past few weeks, I’m ready to start over.
I don’t mean that I want to start over physically, of course. Thankfully, I’m working with a solid base, and I have no intention of letting that go. I just need to clean the mental slate and revisit my training plan. A series of difficult weather days was followed by a week of long work days and topped off by a weekend of painful muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders that has me tied to the couch and DNSing today’s Great Ski Race. It was not one of those weekends to be remembered.
While wallowing in pain-induced self-pity and feeling desperately antsy about not running, I found myself thinking about a knitting project that I'd finally admitted last week was not working. I’d mis-measured my initial gauge, counting 5 stitches per inch instead of 4. It seemed like such a small error, but it resulted in a hat that was a solid 5 inches too large in circumference. Completely useless. I could have sat around and cried about all the hard work gone to waste, but really at that point, there’s nothing to do but unravel it and start over.
|One of my students had fun helping me unravel this beautiful-but-useless hat during Friday's knitting class.|
Feeling a bit unraveled myself, I'm preparing to mentally start over with my season's training. Saturday is my first big race of the year, the Way Too Cool 50K. I can’t say I feel incredibly prepared, but with all the recent inconsistency in my training it’s just hard to tell. I do know I’m excited about it. I hope that more rest this week will see the disappearance of this neck pain, and Saturday will give me an indication of my gauge as a runner. After that, I’ll be ready to move forward, let go of any minor mistakes or lapses in training, and put together the rest of my season, one stitch at a time.
|With a bit of hard work, this ball of yarn will once again become a beautiful hat. Hopefully, one that fits this time.|