Often I’m a big-picture kinda gal. Details are snags that can keep you from dreaming. Details are the negative naysayers that take your grand plan and ask, “Yes, but how are you going to handle x, y and z?”
But there are times when the big picture is rather daunting. When the ultimate goal is just plain intimidating and the work it takes to get there seems impossible. Had I added up how many miles I was to do on my first weekend of heavy volume training, I would have taken up a fetal position on my couch. But I decided to forgo the math. I let the big picture stay fuzzy and instead focused on the details.
It started Friday night with a 1.5-mile swim. Mark brought his kayak down to the pier swim site and followed me as I battled some bumpy water. Two years ago when water like this would make me cry. I would be convinced I wasn’t a strong enough swimmer to go against the strong current. But I’m stronger than I was two years ago. And I reminded myself as that as I put my face in the water and started to swim.
Time was not important to me. Getting in a long open water swim was. I focused on my form and breathing. Instead of thinking about battling the waves, I summoned the word “playful” and used the word “strong” when my arms started to feel tired. The swim left me feeling spent but good. Negative thoughts tried to creep in and I countered with others and finished my swim. Score one for me.
It was a carbohydrate-filled dinner and an early bed time to prepare for Saturday’s ultimate brick workout – a four-hour bike ride followed by a 16 mile run. It feels intimidating just to type, let alone think about executing. So I didn’t think about the big picture. I thought only about what was in front of me. The current moment was all that mattered.
The bike ride was a new route that took me from Boston, N.Y. to Angola and the shores of Lake Erie. Checking my cue sheet for directions and compensating for some missed turns meant my average speed was