Finding my focus

Have you ever left anything so long that you can’t get back to it, even when you want to, because the fact you’ve left it so long means you don’t know where to begin?  Can you guess what I’m talking about?  This blog, maybe?

The only way to get to this, is, I think, to yadda yadda yadda a great deal of the past 3 months.  Bullet yadda for me:

  • I did what I said I was going to do.  I took a break.  I went on holiday.  I ran a little bit, but mostly I sat or I walked and I talked and I canoed and I drank beer and I laughed and I got hot and bothered and very occasionally I cried – I basically lived for a good 6 weeks where life went on and I didn’t have a schedule.  And it was good.  I slept in, we traveled and I felt released from the feeling of “I’ve got to get my run in” or “get to bed on time because tomorrow’s a heavy day”.

    Out on a lake in Ontario

  • September was a bit of a rude awakening – the kids went back to school and I was faced with a pile of admin that had been cooking for a month or two and two quite big stressful situations.  I won’t bore you with the details and none of it is life-threatening, but for the first time in my life I have found myself having to use a lawyer to resolve a work situation and, rather awkwardly, a lawyer to resolve a US immigration situation.  Both situations have been hugely stressful and I have found myself completely swept up in the drama of it all.
  • A couple of highlights in there – I met Chrissie Wellington (oh yes!).  An incredibly inspiring woman, particularly because she has led such a rich life beyond sport and so has incredible perspective. Chrissie and I
  • And my main man, my wonderful husband ran his first marathon last Sunday.  What a day!  He did so well, ran to plan and finished (almost) strong.  It was my first time spectating and man, I love it! It was amazing and so inspiring to see everyone out there. Felix and his daddy

And what of Ironman, I hear you ask?  Well – there’s the rub.  I wanted a challenge and I really seem to have picked it.  So far, the training has not been too tough and I have been able to hang on with most of it.  I’ve managed to pick up a shoulder injury with swimming (which is now spilling over into my biking) but even that is kind of manageable.  I think.

The real rub is my attitude.  Life has been busy and I have not taken the time to reflect.  Taking the time to write in a journal, or on my blog (which is basically a journal) seems like yet another thing to do.  And when you’re busy you’re just charging through your to-do list, you know?  Except.  Except that when I’m really honest plenty of time is wasted even when I am busy.  And more pertinently – not setting out any intentions, or directions, for myself means that I end up living in a very reactive way.  And training in a very reactive way.

The real challenge with this Ironman training is going to be the place it takes up mentally in my life.  I’ve got used to fitting in marathon training around the rest of my life.  But this is a different beast.  Ironman training takes up more time – to train, but also to prepare to train (bike rack on car, check bike over, helmet, shoes, water bottle, keys) and to recover from training.  And I hadn’t really realised that until this week when both children are home from school and suddenly I’ve struggled to fit in my training.  I’ve got to prepare.  (Not one of my strengths).  And prioritise.

And most importantly, I’ve got to focus.  I need to focus on the workout I’m doing, not just do it.  And if I want to do the things I do besides Ironman training – be there for my husband and kids, cook good meals, read books etc – then I’ve got to focus. And I’ve almost been avoiding taking the time to do this.

So this totally uneventful blogpost – sorry – is my call to arms.  To myself.  Focus Petra.  Figure out what I have to do, and how I’m going to do it.  Stand by people.  Because this is all going to start happening!

4 thoughts on “Finding my focus

  1. Hi Sweet Girl…

    I have MISSED you!!

    I wish I had more time to write, but am running late for work…..just wanted to say that you’ll regain your momentum, like you always do. Your biggest obstacle is your head – we both know this :), yet you always, always, always fight through to the bitter end and persevere. You will once again for this IM. It’s a challenge, and you love the challenge. I’ll be rooting for you in every possible way!!

    Much love to you, my friend!

  2. Hi – Just finally noticed your comment on my blog. What Ironman are you doing? Do not let the Ironman scare you. You have many hours to overcome problems and you might not have any! The thing you should fear is running low on fuel. Practice your nutrition and make sure you really, really, really know what you need race day. That is the very most important thing of all because there are lots of times throughout the day where the urge to call it in looms large and if you are bonking (per the yank use of the word!) you can’t work it out. You must keep your calories up! The rest will fall into place – trust me.

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