Wow! It’s been a while! Thanks’ Dom for keeping us updated while I have been on a writing hiatus. First… let’s give a shout out to all the athlete’s who raced Vineman in Napa Valley last weekend. Dominique, Marjan, and I all did that race last year and it was fantastic! It was also Marjan and my first 70.3. Anyhow…I went to Chicago and Michigan for the 4th of July but I tried not to let it impact my training! I definitely missed my training partners but I did do a few cool, new things while I was vacationing at home!
1 – I tried Spinlister for the first time. I didn’t want to lose my bike fitness but I couldn’t bring my bike on my trip so I relied on good old Google and they introduced me to Spinlister. It was great! I put in the type of bike I wanted, my height, and a few other details and bada bing… I had some options! I read the reviews and decide to rent a Specialized Tarmac from Carlos. The experience was AWESOME. I can’t promise you the same experience unless you rent from Carlos, but once I made the reservation (I did negotiate the price), we were able to exchange phone numbers and easily communicate. I highly recommend using the site if you are traveling to a larger city and want to cycle. From the experience; I made a new friend, kept my bike fitness, explored roads I’ve never ridden on, and helped someone make some cash. I am definitely going to list my mountain bike on there since a majority of my time is spent on my TT bike right now.2 – I did a lot of open water swimming in FRESH water. A few years ago my idea of swimming in open water was floating on the top when I fell waking boarding, waiting for the boat to come back and get me so I didn’t have to touch the deadly sea weed. Not anymore! I realized I am now fearless in the Great Lakes! Lake Michigan is basically like the Caribbean with fresh water this time of year. I could have stay in the water all day except it is also very choppy and gave me a hell of a workout. It was good to spend more time in the open water since our IM is in the Ocean and my fear of sharks was reignited about 6 weeks ago when there was a shark attack on a fellow triathlete at Corona Del Mar, the beach we train at on weekly basis. Marjan and I swam 3000 yards that morning and I was thinking to myself, “I don’t even think about sharks anymore.” Later that afternoon the news hit. You never think stuff like that will happen so close to home, but it does. Thankfully the victim was incredibly fit and calm and that saved her life. She is on her way to recovery. Despite the Great Lakes being shark free, my lovely mother still felt the need to follow me on the boat or kayak for my swims. It was actually kind of cool because my Dad took some videos of me so I can work of form. Thanks Mom and Dad! I also did a swim at Ohio Beach in Chicago, right on the Lakeshore. It was so much fun! There were a ton of athletes there and I met some really cool people. It was also the choppiest swim of my life.
3 – I explored my home state from a bike, a different perspective than I have ever had before. I grew up on a horse farm and explored the country from horse back and by foot. When I was riding my bike this past week, it took me back to my days in Michigan, but there so much beauty in the different routes that I kept stopping to take pictures! It was so green and lush, the rolling hill went on for miles and miles and I felt so free from everything going on in the world. From all the gun violence that week, from the pressures at work, from drama in relationships, from everything. Normally any type of training frees my mind and I rarely have negative thoughts when I am outside doing what I love. But this was different. It was like my own little world. I wanted to share the peace with everyone. With my friends I train with and with anyone who needed some peace and happiness in their life right now. But I was alone. Alone with my thoughts, my feelings, and my bike and I loved every minute of it. Here are few snap shots of the beauty.
4 – Annnnd I tried Reiki. I really didn’t know much about Reiki before my flight to ORD but after reading about it, I decided I should try it. It is supposed to help with pain and despite my knee surgery and having a relatively strong recovery, I still have pain. Sometimes I think it’s all in my head and that I need to increase my running a little faster. Plus, my Dad has been dealing with so much regarding his back surgery and I thought maybe if I tried it, I could encourage him to try as well. I also wanted to try a more intense meditation. I suck at mediation. Like really, really bad. A lot of time I think I just don’t try hard enough. So this would either force it…or it would be the most uncomfortable hour of my life. Turns out my knee pain isn’t all in my head…my left knee released a significant “blockage” but was moving in the right direction. The sessions I had were broken down into 3 levels of meditation. Light, more in-depth, and deep. I was very comfortable for the light meditation, but the 2nd level was very difficult for me. I couldn’t sit still. I kept wanting to open my eyes, to move, to sweat. I don’t even swear when I run! I was worried I wouldn’t make it through. Level 3 I went in deep. It was great. I could write for days about the experience but I’ll just leave on the note that I am definitely going to try it a few more times. I relate it to ripping off the band-aid and exposing all your feelings versus lightly peeling back the layers. When I left Sat Nam Yoga in Chicago I had a little bounce in my step, I felt a new sense of confidence, and I had a different perspective on a few things happening in my life.
So that wraps ups my 4 keys experiences the past 10 days. I’m curious what you do for meditation? Do you ever stop and look around at your surroundings and really take them all in? How does it make you feel after?