When your mind goes blank

When waking up 5am yesterday I made a very mature decision to go back to sleep and skip my planned and very long workout. I had the whole day planned and I had a lot going on. But life kind of happened this past week. Sick kids, not a lot of sleep and a travelling husband. The problem is that when you are awake early in the morning it is hard to go back to sleep.

But today was the day, time to conquer the pool and the LeMond. I’ve been a bit worried how to stay sane and motivated. Let me tell you a little bit what happens in my head when I spend a lot of time by myself.

If I have the pleasure to take off for 3-4 hours on foot I get my shoes on and leave. It is about .75 miles to the first stoplight so that’s where I usually tie my shoes again and check my heart rate while waiting. And then it is another 0.75 until I leave sidewalks and streets and disappears into the woods. That’s when it happens, my mind goes__________. And three hours later when I unlock the door I wake up and life goes on. My head is not completely empty, I have long conversations, solve problems, sing and make plans but I usually leave it in the forest and forget all about it. That’s how I rest my mind.

For me biking and swimming is not mind resting. I think and I try to stay motivated. I use 100 different mantras, I do some people watching, drink water and I do a lot of complaining in my head. I had 3 hours of biking/swimming to cover today, that’s a lot of mantras and complaining for a brain.

1st 30 min on the bike: The gym is empty, 7am. Holy &%$#, had to put Ralvero’s Extreme on repeat to survive. That song is 6 minutes and 17 seconds. I played it 4 times. Am I turning insane, already? Got company on the bike beside me the last 5 minutes. He looked at me and said, lucky you, you’re almost done… told him I just started.

1st 30 min swim. Forgot my arm brace but I am not leaving my lane, the pool is filling up fast. Went from this is not too bad to this is bad. If you would need a drivers license to swim laps I would still be using a permit. Need to book a couple of lessons. I think my legs are going to touch the bottom of the pool, not floating today…

2nd 30 min bike: Nice, happy to be out of the pool. I nod to the guy who is still biking. Now with a towel on his head. My mind goes blank… and look up and have only 3 min left. Trying to recall my thoughts but have no clue what’s been going on in my head.

2nd 30 min swim: This is very nice. Paddles on and I can actually speed up a bit. The yards are adding up quite fast but the guy beside me keeps kicking me when he passes. Not cool! Realized that I forgot to send a couple of work emails last night… need to finish this and… and time’s up. What?

3rd 30 min bike: He is still there. His grey biking shorts changed color to a very dark grey and his face is bright purple. I feel like I am cruising down the street, downhill. It is nice to get a break on the bike. I am so good at making playlists… Who needs Ralvero on repeat now?

3rd 30 min swim: Shared lane with a nice chatty lady. My elbow makes noises. Or do I hear noises in my head? Emails, don’t forget to send… and buy raspberry jam and flour… geeezzz my shoulders… tired… I am so done with this…

4th 30 min bike: I did something wrong here. My program said 3 swims and 3 bikes, I’ve lost count. How many times have I been on the bike? I decided to bike for 30 min and check my watch when I am done. My legs feel a little bit tired and heavy. My grey shorts company disappeared, there’s a tiny guy in sandals beside me. He needs to raise the seat, his knees are way too bent all the time. I am so hungry. But I did pretty well with nutrition this time, not too tired, been drinking the whole time, and eating every hour… Maybe I should text the kids and tell them to get dressed to we can go and get lunch when I get back. And blank……… time’s up. What happened? 3 hours gone. I almost feel a bit disappointed, where is the pain, the fighting for motivation, the insanity? Am I really finished, maybe I forgot a swim or a bike? Cleaning the bike and then checking my watch. I am done and did 30 min too much. I obviously have a math problem. I biked 30 min too long. Walking to the locker room and see a hand in front of my face, the greyshortsguy runs on the corner treadmill and gives me a high five me when I pass him.

And best of all… my ankle looks… normal, not swollen or blue for the first time in 6 weeks. I hate to say it… I was wrong and my excellent coach right, sometimes it is good to take a break from running.