What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.
The new school year has started off with a bang. I absolutely love teaching eighth grade, my teaching partner is super fun, and I’m constantly borrowing childcare hours from friends because I’m teaching full time for the first time in years! And, most importantly, about three weeks ago, I regained motivation to train hard!
I’m not sure if it was the couple of months after Boston that I just needed to lollygag and laze about, but I definitely felt unmotivated and sluggish. For months! I was burned out. On work, training… everything! Just done! It was almost like training depression, only I truly think it was the cumulative effect of all of the challenges and adjustments of last school year combined with an overly ambitious mustrunalltheraces day of registration that shortly followed Surf City last February.
At the beginning of the year, I set the Ventura Marathon as my goal race. I wanted to come in under 3:25.
It’s not going to happen. And I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t hurt a little. Or even more than a little.
As I was chatting with my new students the other day, I began comparing my marathon training to their school year. Like my kids, who all wrote declarations about how their goals were to earn As or Bs in my class and to work hard on their writing skills by coming to see me regularly for conferences, I set a lofty goal to run 26.2 in 3:25 or under. My kids set their intentions for the year just as I set my intention for this race. However, and this is hopefully where we differ, my goal remained an intention.
I had an entire freaking summer to train! But do you know what I did? I sat on the couch and on the lounge chairs, played in the pool with my girls, took Ruby Sunshine for walks…
Snuggled with Blondie…
Took super a super fun day trip to Santa Cruz Island…
By the way, I’ve made the decision that I must by a sailboat. I’m trying to convince my mom to buy a dock home. 😉
I spent more time with my family…
Mostly because I love them, but also because my time with them is so stinking precious! My babies are growing up too fast, and with working full time, I notice even those couple of hours a day I used to spend with them after school are hours I would do almost anything to still have. I really love my job, though, and Mini Me is always asking to travel places (She finally understands that she’s lucky that we’re on the same schedule and that it takes money to do fun things like travel and race), so overall, it’s a winning situation for us. I am so blessed to have a wonderful mom, husband, sister, preschool (for Blondie), and friends who take excellent care of my spawns! It truly does take a village!
So, I guess you could say that during summer, I set the intention of being ultra present to my kids. I’d say I did a pretty good job of doing that as well.
My mom always makes us a priority. She’s pretty much the best role model. She even shared the best spirally potato chip fair food dusted with garlic cheesy powder with us!
Sharing that would have been very hard for me. I need to be more like my mom.
As summer began to wind down and I shlepped my girls into my classroom just about every day to set up my room and plan lessons, I suddenly found myself feeling like if I didn’t say on top of “it,” all of the “things” I was trying to juggle (family, friends, work, running, chocolate eating) would all fall down. And you know what? Once I started setting specific intentions instead of arbitrarily saying things like “I want to run a 3:25 marathon,” I was really able to focus.
Setting the intention to work hard for set periods of time and work through feasible checklists allowed me to feel like I could enjoy being with my kids and be fully present when I got home. This probably sounds really obvious, but adding the “full time” to my schedule has actually allowed me to be more productive AT work as opposed to having to take a ton of work home and worrying about when I would get it done while playing Go Fish with my littles, as was the case when I was part-time.
This newfound motivation and go-get-’em attitude carried over into my training. About three weeks ago, I came to the realization that if I want to improve, I have to train hard and smart, regardless of whether my husband is home to watch the girls or not. This past week has been a taper week, but the two before were chalk full of really good runs. Even a lot of the ones on the treadmill were solid!
I also went to two of the training runs hosted by Josh Spiker, the genius/fastie behind the Ventura Marathon.
I’ve also been super lucky that my husband has offered to work on my feet, legs, glutes, and hips every night he’s home!
It always hurts like crazy, but I’m pretty sure the work he’s done on me is the reason why my IT band issues and plantar fasciitis have gone away!
So, while I’m sadly almost certainly not going to come anywhere near my original goal, I would be happy to A.) PR (sub 3:29:47) or B.) set a course PR (sub 3:32:46). If I run anything slower than that, it’ll be because I had a mental breakdown on the course. Ventura was my BRF Veronique’s and my race (She moved to Austin last month)! I miss her so much. My other best friend J is moving to Saudi Arabia on Sunday, so if you find Debbie Downer herself slumped over in a pile of tears and salted caramel Gu somewhere along the course, don’t slow down to assess the scene. I’ll be okay.
Despite the sadness of realizing that I failed at doing, I am still really looking forward to running Ventura this Sunday. It’s a good lesson I learned, this whole “intentions don’t count unless you’re actually doing” thing. If you’re heading out there, be sure to bring your no-longer-in-use running shoes to donate to the Max Cure Foundation. I have mine ready to go!
And a new sweet pair of Kayano 21s to rock on Sunday!
Also, good luck to my good high school friend Mark who I believe is running his marathon this weekend as well! Have fun!
See you guys out there!