Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Adapting... because I'm dedicated

For the next 3 weeks my "normal" weekly schedule and workouts will be challenged by the fact that instead of being in Kalispell Mon-Fri, I'll be in Missoula for two weeks, and then in Helena for a week-- all for various training opportunities for work.

While it's great to get to be "home" for a few weeks, it definitely offers new challenges. First, I don't have a gym membership here in Missoula (or in Helena). And it ain't summer yet, so there are some environmental challenges to take into consideration!! So I have to get creative about when & where to get my workouts in. Here are some examples:

Yesterday morning my first obligation wasn't until 10am. So I got up at 6:30 to eat a banana, then headed out for my tempo run just as it was getting light (7:15 am). It had snowed most of the night and wet, slushy flakes were continuing to fall. As my route took me on roads near an elementary school and also through the main part of Frenchtown, traffic was fairly high at that time of the morning. So I got repeatedly splashed by slush from school busses and soccer moms whizzing their kids to school. My hair and eyelashes were collecting the flakes as they fell. It was definitely one of those runs that made me question "uh, why am I doing this?!"

But then I harkened back to the sense of pride I'd felt the day before when Jim's mom commented to me about my running, "wow, you're really dedicated to that."

Yes, I am. I am dedicated. To my running. To my triathlon training goals. To my overall health and fitness goals. I AM DEDICATED. I AM DEDICATED (imagine a slush-covered Carly running along chanting this in the early dawn...)

Today I was at the University of Montana for a training course. Our itenerary had noted a 1-hour lunch break (I usually only get 30 min--- if that!), so I decided to use my break to get in a swim workout at the Grizzly Pool (just a few buildings down from my class). This took a little bit of prior preparation. I had to have my swim gear all ready to go in a separate backpack from my work bag, and I had to have a readily-scarfable lunch to eat since I would be using my lunch break for non-eating endeavors.

Actually, it turned out to be good mental training for a triathlon. How quickly can I transition, both physically and mentally, between different activities/identities? Just as in a race I'll have to go from a swimmer to a biker to a runner, with all the associated gear changes, today I had to go from a biologist to a swimmer and back to a biologist-- again with associated gear changes.

As soon as the instructor freed us from class, I grabbed my gear and was out the door, making sure I got out on a fast start so that no one could catch me to chat about anything! I speed-walked to the pool, changed quickly, and got right to my workout:
2 x 50 warmup
8 x 50 drills (kick, pull, sidekick, drag)
3 x 200 cruise w/ last 50 accelaration
2 x 50 warmup
Done. Out of the pool. Quick shower. Dry off. Dress. Shove swim gear into bag. Brush hair on the walk back to class. Get there with 5 minutes to spare. Gobble a salad. Chew on a bagel and peanut butter, finishing as class began. Take a deep breath and mentally re-focus for the afternoon session. Whew!

Throughout the next three weeks I'll be trying to squeeze in workouts here there and yon, taking advantage of the opportunity to toss myself out of my normal routine and give myself new challenges and adapt to different environments. (for example, I learned the hard way that the deep end of the Griz pool is deeper than the one at my gym, and so the lane end marker looks farther away and thus it takes one less stroke to reach the end of the lane than what I'm accustomed to!)

Finding time and places to workout may not be easy. It may not be convenient. I may have to pay $3 to swim at the Griz Pool. I may have to ride my bike in laps around one of the only neighborhoods without snowy roads. But I'll do it. Because I am dedicated. In past times of my life, I would have let the disruption of my normal routine affect my exercise goals. I would have easily used the "travel' status to mean a vacation from anything I might have been working towards. But not now. I'm different now. I'm dedicated.

1 comment:

Robyn said...

Yeah, girl! You're committed. I like the bacon and eggs analogy: The chicken is involved. The pig is committed.

Enjoy the challenge of adaptation and don't beat yourself up if something has to change -- there's always room for crunches and pushups!