Getting Ahead of the Head Game.

I’m feeling out of sorts. My schedule has been wonky lately. I haven’t been sleeping well. And now Dave is out of town for a few days. So I am doing what I often do when I’m feeling out of sorts, which is write.

Yesterday, I planned to start the day doing a trainer ride followed by a short run. I had built a ride in Zwift that was in line with my coach’s instructions. But as I got into the workout, I realized I had set the power far too high on the key part of the workout. I could turn the pedals a few strokes, but I could not maintain that high power for the full 30-second effort, and I was supposed to do ten of those 30-second efforts.

When I realized my mistake, I got super frustrated with myself. I was more than 30 minutes into a 75-minute workout. I could not figure out if there was a way to adjust the power mid-workout. And I had a morning meeting, so I did not have time to start the session over again.  So I scrapped the session and decided to try again later in the day, which would mean after work and after my evening meeting. That would mean I’d be biking and trying to run really late, which would throw off getting to bed early, which would make the next day’s early morning airport run a challenge.

I could feel myself about to explode. Dave saw my frustration and knew he could not help. He gave me space to be really angry for a bit, and I was. All week, my workouts have felt a bit off, my head has been foggy, and that botched effort felt like piling crap on crap. So I got cleaned up, cleaned the litter, put some laundry away, and tried to do some organizing around the house – anything to make good use of the time I had given I had bailed on my workouts.

Driving in to work, it occurred to me that if workouts that either don’t feel great or get botched for one reason or another are the worse thing going on in my life, then I’m doing pretty damn well. Then I felt foolish for having let the workout get to me at all. Training is my fun, after all.  This felt a lot like the knitting fiasco of last month.

Driving in to work, I knew I needed to reset my brain.

All day yesterday, I worked hard not to let anything at work get to me. I even snagged a quick lunch with Dave because I knew he would lift my spirits, and he did.  Then in the evening, I got back on my bike and tried again. The workout went much better the second time around. And I got my run done at the gym before my bike workout, which meant I was doing the workouts out of order, but whatever. I got them done.

This morning I got Dave to the airport, napped a bit in my car in front of the gym, and got myself to the pool for an early swim. I felt awkward in the pool. I didn’t feel like I was catching water very well. It felt more like I was flailing and fishtailing a bit. So my times were not what they should have been, and I felt the frustration building again.  I had a run scheduled after the swim, but I was not in the right state of mind to get on the treadmill after that crappy swim, so I decided to just clean up and get to the office.

Once again, driving to work, I knew I again needed to reset my brain.

I could either dwell on the bad workout or be happy that I got a swim in before work, so I chose the latter. And all day, I’ve been presenting myself with choices. I can get frustrated with the load or be happy that I have a job that supports me. I can be annoyed that my morning meeting meant a later than usual lunch, or I can be grateful that I have the means to buy a quick meal downtown. I can be sad that Dave won’t be home tonight, or I can relish in knowing that I have a guy whose company I always prefer over his absence.

It’s all a headgame, isn’t it? For me, it’s so easy to get worked up about what’s not going well that I often lose sight of all that is amazing. And right now, there is so much that is amazing. I love all of the things that I am getting to do right now. I love my life. Yes, I feel out of sorts right now, but so what? It’s not the end of the world or anything even approaching the end of the world. It’s just life, and some days will feel better or worse than others. Why is it so hard to remember that?

One thought on “Getting Ahead of the Head Game.

  1. Don’t you just love the story-in-your-head game? Sometimes I have a dialogue with Story and ask, “Is that (whatever ‘that’ is) true?” 99% of the time it isn’t. We are such suckers for perfection. You can quote me on that. Sending you big hugs.

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