Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Me and El Nino Down by the Schoolyard

It's been warm here.

Today, the temperature FINALLY dipped down to about 27, although it was not really snowing--not enough for my liking--but at least some flurries are coming down. When I walked out of school today, I needed my scarf and heavy red winter coat and white gloves. The air hit my face and felt crisp when I took a breath. And I felt better, knowing this.

They say it's "El Nino." That's what's made it so unseasonably warm.

A few days ago, when I went on an 8 mile run, I stepped outside to notice that there were little flowers blooming in my garden. Little snow lilies--they usually don't pop out until early March.

They're confused.

I'm sorta feelin' em.

This whole weather thing has really made me feel "off." It just doesn't feel...quite right. Sure, I've enjoyed running in shorts for all but two weeks this entire winter.


It's not what I'm used to.

You know what? I've had a rough time coming down this Ironman high. I'm just gonna lay it out there. I thrive on structure. Plans. For the past year of my life, that's how I lived. Really, two years, when I think that 2005 was filled with a spring marathon and a late-summer 70.3.

I'm getting better at this. Because, I have to. This is how it's going to be this year.

Pencil, Sara. Pencil...

Let's cue Paul Simon:

"Well I'm on my way....I don't know where I'm goin'...I'm on my way...I'm takin' my time, but I don't know where..."


So I'm here with a calendar, and with a plan that I will sort of follow week by week, and that's OK. Because, you know what? I'm a firm believer in the school of thought that you grow the most when you make yourself uncomfortable.

During the past two years of endurance event training, it's been uncomfortable sometimes.

(That's putting it mildly.)

And I loved it. But not every day, while I was doing it...sometimes I really wondered why or what business I even had doing it. But I look back now and know that I loved it and I loved what it's done to me.

So now, a new phase and a new year. This feels...uncomfortable. That seems like too weak an adjective, but it will have to do.

I'm going to just have to learn to adjust to this. I know, eventually, I'm going to look back and say how much I loved it. How much I loved the freedom to sleep a little later, run if I wanted to, do yoga when I wanted to, read a book when I wanted to. Start teaching a new class that's much harder and challenges me more, run a half-marathon with friends for fun, swim because it relaxes me and not because I-have-to-get-in-4000-yards-today-or-else.

I'm going to stand back in the crowd, now, and watch my friends...all of them, near and far. Because I am still young, and I still have a LOT to learn. I need to remember that Ironmans aren't going anywhere. That I am an Ironman. That I have many years of Ironman, and probably even other things that at one time or now seem impossible, left in me, and this year isn't one of them, but it's still a year to grow and learn and try every new thing I possibly can.

Shove me outside of my little box. Stick my head out of the ground on January 10th, even if it doesn't make sense.

Confusion can be good, because unless you feel just a little, teensy bit lost sometimes, how on earth are you ever going to get going?


Wes said...

Hee, hee! Yes! If you so choose you have many Ironmans in you.

Jodi said...

I hope you're feeling better!

This weather is so weird. I'm worried about my poor tulips and daffodils that are already peaking out of the ground!

Can't wait to meet Tommy- say hi for me tomorrow!



E-Speed said...

I'm feeling you right now. I feel so lost with this year like I have no clue what I want to be doing let alone what I should be doing. I have no idea why I put certain races on the schedule and I have no idea what to do without a schedule.

I feel like a nutcase :)

Glad someone else feels lost and uncomfortable too.

Hopefully we'll both fare well with it.

Robin said...

It's a hard thing to come down from the high of a big event to...what? The fun in that is deciding though. I have no doubt you'll come up with something engaging for yourself.

And we're having the weird weather here too. We've all been out in t-shirts the last few days, now the snow is coming down in vast white sheets. I worry for the fruit trees that started budding last week.

Unlike them however, we've already bloomed (into Ironman of course). Savor it! :-)

JenC said...

Well said! I'll be looking to you for advice after the end of July. You are and always will be an Ironman! I hope I can say the same soon.

Vickie said...

I got to your site through Fe-Lady's site and saw your comment about no girls sports until the 70s. Fe-Lady and I are the same age, and probably your mom too, so what she says is true. We had intramural volleyball, basketball, and maybe softball when I was in high school. I don't remember too many female jocks either. Its a wonder to me that I have come this far with that kind of start.

Amy said...

I totally get that. Well said Sara. Wish I realized all that a few months ago. Instead I just went squirrelly and was unable to explain it.

Triteacher said...

If it doesn't kill you, it'll make you stronger... Don't you just hate those sayings when you're living in them though??

Hope it helped to write it out a bit.

DaisyDuc said...

Well as much as I am enjoying the shorts, I could totally use some more snow since my hubby plows. Bring on the snow machine!!

Perhaps this un-structured schedule may provide some pleasant surprises!!

TriShannon said...

You can come take my snow and ice!

I know this year is going to be an exciting one for you... plan or no-plan.

qcmier said...

I have no races scheduled either. Heck I don't even own a calendar.